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South Portland, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Trails

Description: The Greenbelt Trail, which serves pedestrians and cyclists, crosses several busy streets in South Portland. To make those crossings safer, Age-Friendly South Portland conducted a monthlong tactical urbanism project. They painted road delineators to separate cyclists from traffic, along with high-visibility signage to alert drivers to the crossings. Curb bump-outs decreased the distance needed for trail users to cross the street. While the fixtures were temporary, organizers gathered feedback from residents during the demonstration, which they featured in a presentation to the public works department. Project organizers report the project spurred the City to make permanent changes to one crossing.

Sullivan, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Trails

Description: Sullivan has a network of hiking trials but lacked options for people with mobility challenges. To give residents of all ages and abilities a place to walk, Age-Friendly Sullivan installed an accessible walking trail at the Sorrento-Sullivan Recreation Center. First, volunteers worked to prepare an underused area on the rec center's property, creating drainage culverts and mowing grass. Then they spread crushed gravel to create a hard, flat trail surface. Before, the recreation center offered several amenities aimed at children and youth, including a playground, basketball courts and a skate park. The trail represents an offering people of all ages -- including older adults -- can use. Since creating the trail, the age-friendly initiative has worked with partners to add benches, fitness equipment and a story walk along the route.

Presque Isle, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Trails

Description: The Presque Isle Bike Walking Trail winds four miles through the heart of town. Working with the local hospital, the City constructed three new trail loops near the local community center, where users can find a water fountain, restrooms and concessions. They also added landscaping, a new bridge and two dedicated parking lots to provide easier access to the trail system. The new loops allow visitors to opt for shorter walks without having to backtrack to return to the trail entrance. Additionally, they provide a more direct connection to downtown, as well access to a playground, splash pad, athletic fields, public market and Riverside Park.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Tolland, CT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: To give older adults in Tolland an outdoor space to gather and spend time, the Tolland Conservation Commission created a new park. The Commission worked with landscape architecture students at University of Connecticut to design Wanat Senior Park, a 13-acre area with accessible woodland trails, space for stargazing, a wheelchair-accessible meadow trail and meditative labyrinth. Engagement with older adults, including a design charrette and guided site tour, informed plans for the park. Volunteers of all ages planted vegetation and helped install hardscaping. The park features a pollinator garden, ADA-compliant benches and a variety of native plants. Public art -- including a sculpture of a heron and a sundial -- welcome visitors to the space.

Ellington, CT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2024

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The town will install a greenhouse at a senior center's garden, which grows produce for the local food pantry. The greenhouse will lengthen the growing season, enabling volunteers to garden during colder months.

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