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Lake City, CO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Lake City DIRT and town officials built a wood-framed pavilion in a park to house cultural, educational, recreational and community events. Construction finished in time for the pavilion to serve as an outdoor dining area during COVID-19 shutdowns in 2020. Since installation, project organizers have seen a 60 percent uptick in visitors in the area.

Oahu, HI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Kahuku Point is one of the few places on Oahu with an intact coastal strand habitat, which local organizations and volunteers are working to restore. To keep hikers on designated paths and prevent soil erosion, the North Shore Community Land Trust engaged more than 200 volunteers to plant native coastal plants and install fencing. The restoration project ensures a safe nesting habitat for at-risk and endangered animals, such as the Laysan albatross, green sea turtles, yellow-faced bees and Hawaiian monk seals. The habitat is crucial for the long-term survival of these species.

Keokuk, IA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: To improve community health concerns and opportunities for physical activity, Keokuk Parks Foundation converted a long-neglected set of tennis courts into six pickleball courts. In addition, they installed two benches onsite, along with a trash receptacle and signage. Today, the local library offers pickleball equipment on loan at its nearby site, while members of the local pickleball club conduct free lessons. The new courts have turned a neighborhood eyesore into a vibrant, attractive recreational outlet for residents. Pickleball -- a fast-paced game modeled on tennis and ping-pong -- is popular with older adults because it is low-impact and friendly on aging joints.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Coffeyville, KS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Accessibility of amenities

Description: The Coffeyville Area Community Foundation transformed a newly resurfaced sidewalk in the 9th Street neighborhood into an ADA-compliant fitness walk. As part of the Walk the Block Project, workers installed informational kiosks, new benches, distance markers at quarter mile intervals and new wheelchair ramps at crosswalks along the 2.5-mile route. The path winds through Coffeyville's revitalized historic downtown, connecting local sites, including the town's main plaza, the Midland Theater, the local community college and a community garden and orchard.

Coffeyville, KS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Innovative home maintenance, repair and support services

Description: By repairing neglected front porches, Coffeyville's Reawakening Neighborhood Initiative set out to demonstrate that small improvements can be a catalyst for community rejuvenation. The organization's Porchology project finished four East Side homes with safety railings, step handrails and new porch swings. They also replaced rotted wood and added decorative plants and birdhouses. Project organizers held a contest to select dwellings for upgrades, with each winner located in Coffeyville's older neighborhood. The Porchology project encourages community members to envision porches as outdoor extensions of homes. Following upgrades to the four selected homes, neighbors have fixed up their own porches, improving curb appeal. In the future, the organization plans to recognize homeowners who have invested in their porches and stage porch parties with music and entertainment.

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