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See More Grantees Like This One

Oconomowoc, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This alley activation project turned a stark passageway between the lakefront and downtown retail into a livelier pedestrian link. Project organizers added a painted design on the pavement and constructed trellises to provide shade. The City chose not to close the alleyway during the transformation work. Instead, passersby were invited to lend a hand to the rejuvenation process by painting a faux floor tile (or several). This also allowed visitors to ask questions about the transformation happening before their eyes. The project sparked conversations about how to activate the other downtown alleys, each with its own unique look and distinctive experience. And when the City reconstructed its boardwalk, it borrowed the trellis design used in the alleyway. People now change their routes to experience the walkway, city planner Kristi Weber said. It gets folks to lift their heads up, look around and enjoy some untraditional and unexpected art.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Berlin, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: The City of Berlin has eight parks, but only two were well visited. Berlin's Parks and Recreation Department hoped to draw residents to check out the lesser-known locations. To do this, the department held a bench-painting contest. Local Boy Scouts and high school students built six wooden benches and Parks and Recreation Department recruited local artists to paint them. After the benches were completed, the Parks Department placed one in each park. The department then got residents involved, challenging them to hunt for each bench's location and vote on the designs they liked best. After the scavenger hunt, the benches went up for auction. The hunt got residents explore local parks, including ones they might not have previously visited. Inspired by the success of this project, the Parks Department plans to replicate the competition in the future.

Madison, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Trails

Description: The spot where a popular pedestrian and bicycle path connects with Leopold Community School has needed repairs for years. The Cannonball Path's entrance was cracked and overgrown with weeds. To make the gateway to the path more welcoming, volunteers laid new concrete, planted native perennials alongside the path, added interpretive signage and installed solar lighting. New benches give people a space to sit and to appreciate the sculpture that adorns the trail entrance. The artwork depicts a fiddlehead fronds -- an homage to the local ecology. Today, the space gives educators the opportunity to teach students about local wildlife and also acts as a drop-off location for parents escorting their children to school. Project organizers say the improvements are part of community-wide efforts to give people more resting spaces along local trails.

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AARP Wisconsin State Office

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Suite 600
Madison, WI 53703
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