See More Projects Like This One

Milwaukee, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: As part of the ongoing efforts to improve Gardner Park, the City of Milwaukee added a new community gathering space. Located in the Menomonee River Hills neighborhood, the intergenerational space features a gravel patio area, as well as wheelchair-accessible tables with built-in game boards, benches, an information kiosk and new landscaping. Previously, the City installed a new playground, walking path and fitness equipment at the park. Project organizers say in recent years the neighborhood has welcomed an influx of new families -- including those from the Hmong community -- underscoring the need for a public space for neighbors to meet and socialize.

Montpelier, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To provide a place for cyclists and walkers to rest and socialize, this project developed a pocket park along an existing bike path. Guertin Pocket Park features a pergola -- a wooden structure with a roof -- to provide shelter from the sun or rain. Project organizers also incorporated seating and bike racks, as well as a rainwater collection system that feeds a small decorative garden. In 2021, the city decided to move the pocket park to a new location in the heart of downtown.

Albuquerque, NM

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The Barelas Community Coalition hoped to create a welcoming, multigenerational gathering space to allow community members to eat, play, and learn together. The organization constructed a shade structure, added a bench, installed solar lighting and displayed signage at a public courtyard. The outdoor area is part of the Las Esquinita complex, an indoor commercial space that includes a small food hall and artisan market. It is also located next to a new food truck park, which the Coalition helps manage. Today, the space serves as a public art venue where resident can communicate their ideas, wants and feelings alongside an existing mural. Project organizers say the project helped secure long-term support for their activation efforts and allowed the community to rally around local revitalization activities.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Anadarko, OK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: Delaware Nation created an accessible community garden in an area designated as a food desert. Residents of all ages use the garden to plant and harvest fresh fruits and vegetables. The garden includes 25 raised beds, constructed at different heights to accommodate older adults and people with mobility differences. Two beds are specifically designated for growing native plants. Delaware Nation also purchased gardening tools, including wheelbarrows, trellises, garden hoses, an irrigation system and reusable frost blankets. Much of the produce grown onsite is used in meals prepared for the tribe's older members. Tables, shade umbrellas and a charcoal grill allow tribal members to gather and enjoy produce from the garden together.

Oklahoma City, OK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public place improvements to withstand extreme weather events

Description: An Oklahoma County study showed many residents rely on public water systems that have been cited for health violations. Oklahoma City officials hoped green infrastructure could help resolve water quality issues for downstream communities. So the City converted two flowerbeds in a local park in to rain gardens -- also known as bioswales. During heavy rains, the swales collect stormwater runoff from a nearby parking lot and divert it back into the ground, rather than into the municipal sewer system. This helps remove pollutants before they reach the local watershed. Project organizers say they hope the pilot allows Oklahoma City to become a leader in green infrastructure. They have planned to add more bioswales throughout the community in the future.

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