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Oakland, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project will improve the area around a senior center by adding a decorative mural, building a pickleball court and adding a pocket park with benches and raised flower beds.

Mansfield, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Mansfield's Carrousel District was cut off from the city's newly created Imagination District. To demonstrate the value of connecting the two downtown areas, the Richland Community Development Corporation created a temporary linear park along West Third Street. Organizers hoped the long, narrow park would double as a community gathering pace and pedestrian pathway. The CDC installed benches, pergolas and hammocks and outfitted. Volunteers laid down artificial turf and painted murals onto the pavement. To attract people to the space, the pop-up included activities including self defense classes, interactive art exhibits, children's storytimes, food trucks and live music performances. The two-week activation was part of the CDC's efforts to advocate for a permanent linear park, which organizers say will bring vibrancy to the Carrousel District and reintegrate it into the fabric of Mansfield's downtown.

Ponce, PR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Ponce -- Puerto Rico's second largest city -- is recovering after two hurricanes and several earthquakes damaged its downtown, leaving many families homeless. As part of reconstruction efforts, City leaders are focusing on bolstering community arts and activating public spaces. To make the downtown core more inviting, the City improved a walkway that connects the Plaza del Mercado Isabel II with the local marketplace. To prepare the site, City staff made infrastructure upgrades and revamped landscaping. They then added tables and benches to the site, allowing visitors to gather to enjoy live music, play board games and exercise. The City also installed a platform where artisans can display their work.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Shawnee Mission, KS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Micromobility enhancements/management

Description: To expand access to cycling, this project expanded the BikeWalkKC bikeshare program. Parks and Recreation Foundation of Johnson County set out to install bikeshare stations in four parks, including a new park located near a residential area with a senior living community. The stations serve four municipalities -- Olathe, Prairie Village, Lenexa, Shawnee and Overland Park. To measure the bikeshare program's popularity, each station uses smart technology to track each bike's location, how frequently it is checked out, the length of each checkout and who used it. Organizers plan to specifically market the service to older adults, who represent a growing share of Johnson County's population.

Lawrence, KS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: This project will enlarge a community garden next to an affordable housing community. Four raised beds will ensure accessibility for residents with disabilities, as well as for older volunteers. Excess produce will be donated to local food banks.

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