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See More Grantees Like This One

Jackson, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The City of Jackson set out to demonstrate the value of vibrant public spaces. This project was part of larger open streets efforts, which close streets to vehicle traffic residents to gather, walk and play there. First, the City created a parklet on Congress Street in St. Paul's downtown. The temporary mini-park fit in the footprint of an on-street parking space. The City outfitted the space with outdoor furniture, allowing residents to relax and socialize. Organizers say the parklet also drove business to local restaurants, providing outdoor dining space for customers. To gauge residents' reaction to the space, the City conducted a survey during the pop-up. The City has since worked to develop guidelines for parklet creation, allowing local businesses to set up their own outdoor spaces.

Jackson, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Part of wider efforts to beautify the South Jackson neighborhood, this project activated several vacant lots, turning them into community gardens, creative market spaces and pocket parks. The revitalization initiative also added seating and landscaping at a bus stop, painted a mural and made repairs to housing subdivision entrances. Community members volunteered to help with the efforts. In recent years, South Jackson has struggled with business closures and vacant housing. In a letter to the community, Coalition Executive Director Bennie Hudson wrote, We must do something about this for ourselves as elders and adults, but even more for our children and youth. In the future, project organizers hope to set up a homeowners association for the neighborhood to support ongoing maintenance and future improvements.

Macon, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project enhanced the Macon Welcome Center with the addition of computers, food prep equipment and audio video equipment, helping it to become a fully functional community center.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Gulfport, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public place improvements to withstand extreme weather events

Description: After Hurricane Katrina nearly leveled the Bayou View West neighborhood in 2005, the Federal Emergency Management Agency bought out the remaining residents and handed the property over to the city. Today, the 40-acre tract is known as Brickyard Bayou Park. This project created the city's first dog park at the site. Known as the Bark Park, it attracted more than 200 people and dogs on its opening day in 2017. the space acts as a buffer -- if the area floods again, homes won't be at risk. And once the park dries out, people and pups can return. Since the Bark Park's creation, the City of Gulfport has added a kayak launch, a disc golf course, a nature trail and an outdoor classroom to Brickyard Bayou Park.

Gulfport, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space improvements to support recovery after extreme weather events

Description: As part of revitalization efforts following flooding from Hurricane Katrina, the City of Gulfport set out to give cyclists and pedestrians a place to shelter from the weather and sun. They installed a 20-square-foot safe-weather pavilion and benches along a new bike trail in Brickyard Bayou Park. The trail connects park visitors to amenities, including an outdoor classroom, dog park and community garden. Organizers report the pavilion project has since inspired other similar structures and trails in Gulfport.

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AARP Mississippi State Office

141 Township Avenue
Suite 302
Ridgeland, MS 39157
United States

Phone: 866-554-5382
Fax: 601-898-5429
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