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Lebanon, NH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To assess the housing stock in 67 municipalities in New Hampshire and Vermont, the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission launched its Keys to the Valley Website. Grant funds supported website management and efforts to promote its use. The website includes an open data portal, where site visitors can engage with regional housing data, read personal stories, view maps and use interactive tools for analysis. Aerial and ground photography highlight the different types of housing across the region. Project organizers hope the website will highlight each community's unique housing needs, as well as features such as proximity to grocery stores and hospitals. To promote the site, commission staff created a video, launched a newsletter, attended public engagement events and talked with residents about the Keys to the Valley initiative.

Baltimore, MD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project helped activate an alleyway by creating an Outdoor Community Library and installed an artistic metal gate to secure it. The Urban Oasis uses the space to host story times with older adults reading to local students.

Chilton, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The Chilton Public Library was looking to expand its reach beyond the walls of the library building. To give residents an intergenerational activity, library staff installed two bilingual story walks -- one at Chilton Elementary School and the other outside a local nature center. Additionally, the library created two portable story walks, which staff can set up at community events and playgrounds around Calumet County. The walks consist of several display stations installed along a trail or path. Library staff display storybook pages in each kiosk, allowing families to meander along the trail, piecing together the parts of the story as they go. A team of volunteers maintains the story walks, which display books in Spanish and English.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

St. Louis, MO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Engaging people in transportation options/safety

Description: To showcase possible long-term upgrades to the North Hanley light rail station in Cansonville, Mo., Citizens for Modern Transit held a pop-up festival. The event prioritized community engagement, giving participants several ways to share their ideas. The St. Louis County Department of Planning invited attendees to use Lego bricks to build a model of amenities they hoped to see at the station. People recorded themselves sharing their vision for the site at a self-expression stop. Visitors could also write their ideas on a large banner. To help inspire people, the event showcased murals created by a local artist. The feedback gathered during the event informed permanent changes. Today, visitors to the site will find new seating and shade structures, as well as murals painted on the pavement. The theme for that transformation is Transit: We All Ride Together. And since 2017, Citizens for Modern Transit has gone on to improve several other transit stops in the St. Louis region.

St. Louis, MO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: To improve pedestrian safety, this project helped build and creatively paint two crosswalks on a prominent boulevard where there are long stretches without designated crossings.

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