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Ronceverte, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To give residents an outdoor space to gather, this project set out to create a pocket park in downtown Ronceverte. Organizers poured topsoil to level out the site and added benches and raised flower beds. A mural is also planned for the site.

Albany, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Many communities in Lee County lacked accessibility features and infrastructure to bring residents together. To address this, the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission installed recreational equipment, outdoor art and other amenities in several municipalities. In Albany, the Commission commissioned a large sculpture of a turtle to compliment the town's other public art installations. In Leesburg, it installed park benches and message boards in the community's nature park, which joined outdoor games and cedar benches purchased by the local housing authority. And in Thomasville, the Commission created a pop-up porch, which extends useable sidewalk space into on-street parking spaces. The portable porch can be transported, reconfigured and installed in different locations, allowing residents to gather for conversation and events. The popularity of the parklet inspired a local arts organization to install their own portable porches for its annual art exhibition.

Roundup, MT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The large public space in the Roundup's downtown lacked accessible seating. As part of its historic preservation and economic development work, Roundup Community Partners added picnic tables and benches to the plaza. The new seating is designed to be accessible for visitors of all ages and abilities. The plaza sits on the town's Main Street and project organizers hope the seating helps incentivize residents and visitors to shop and eat downtown.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Appleton, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To give residents more spaces to gather and socialize, Creative Downtown Appleton created a parklet. Volunteers repurposed two on-street parking spaces to create the mini-park, which they outfitted with seating, tables and LED lighting. To make the space accessible to wheelchair users and parents with strollers, organizers installed a ramp. Additionally, they installed bike racks nearby. Visitors to the parklet are welcome to pick herbs for free, which Creative Downtown Appleton planted onsite. Project organizers say the space supports nearby businesses -- the parklet offers people an outdoor seating option so they can enjoy coffee or meals purchased locally.

Sheboygan, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Bikeability

Description: For years, city and county officials have worked to develop extensive network of bike and pedestrian paths in Sheboygan, along with an additional 20 miles of designated bike lanes on roads. To help cyclists make the most of the network, the City of Sheboygan installed five bike repair stations. Each station offers basic tools to keep bikes in good working shape. To support the local economy, the City purchased the stations from a nearby Wisconsin business. Organizers hope the stations increase trail use going forward.

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