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Mounds, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: The City of Mounds made accessibility improvements to its City Park to ensure the space is welcoming to people of all ages and abilities. This included outfitting restrooms to be ADA-compliant, adding a ramp to the park's gazebo and installing benches and picnic tables with shade umbrellas.

Charleston, SC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Hampstead Square is Charleston's oldest public green space. But the square had fallen into disrepair after years of neglect, made worse by flooding. Keep Charleston Beautiful partnered with the City of Charleston to launch a multi-year park revitalization, part of broader work to bring greenspace to the community. They installed an irrigation system and updated landscaping. To give nearby residents free internet access, they also set up a Wi-Fi hotspot. Volunteers -- including community members and local businessowners -- helped complete the work and chip in additional funding. Inspired by the progress, organizers later added a new historic marker and statue of famed Charleston blacksmith Philip Simmons, which inform visitors about the park's legacy. Since the improvements, the space has hosted health and fitness activities, youth programs and free outdoor movie screenings.

Richmond, VA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: This project installed picnic tables, benches and signage, plus improvements in the trail system, to an urban ecopark.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Omaha, NE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: To activate a city-owned vacant lot in North Omaha, the City of Omaha installed accessible planters -- built by a local community gardening organization -- that accommodate gardening from a standing or sitting position. A local artist worked with local elementary school children, helping them create murals depicting their aspirations. In addition, the project included a community chalk wall, where residents can leave inspiring messages. To improve a nearby bus stop, the City purchased installed benches. The art and new outdoor furnishings were in pace in time for a fall festival at the site, which organizers hope will occur annually.

Omaha, NE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Accessory dwelling units, tiny homes and manufactured housing

Description: This project will create a how-to guidebook and website on accessory dwelling units, furthering public outreach about this safe, affordable housing option for older adults.

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