See More Projects Like This One

Toledo, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To transform a vacant lot into a pocket park, Salem Lutheran Church installed benches at the site. Inspired by the improvements, community members contributed donations to construct concrete pads for the benches and add trash receptacles nearby. The Church also built a pergola to provide shade at a nearby bus stop, making it the only stop with shelter in the immediate neighborhood. Project organizers engaged local teenagers to help with installation, who volunteered alongside residents. Salem Lutheran Church has since continued its efforts to revitalize North Toledo, hosting a summer youth program to build a community garden for the neighborhood.

Max, ND

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To beautify its downtown, the City of Max added hanging flower baskets, benches and picnic tables, as well as raised garden beds. The undertaking was a community effort for the small town (Max only has 131 residents). A local community club picked out the flowers, with another group of older residents volunteering to plant them and keep them watered. Project organizers say they hope the brightened streetscape encourages residents to get out and stroll through downtown.

Seattle, WA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To help the Southwest Seattle Senior Center become a safer and more inviting gathering space, organizers with Rebuilding Together Seattle made physical improvements to the facility. This included refurbishing handrails, demolishing a shed and replacing it with expanded ADA-compliant parking for members, repainting the building's faade and sprucing up landscaping. RTS used the project to promote its Open Volunteer Days, attracting people from the community to assist with the work. The Center serves an area of Seattle with the city's highest poverty rates and largest share of low-income residents. Project organizers said they hoped the improvements would help position the Center as a safe haven and community hub.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Jersey City, NJ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Digital navigation skills

Description: The Jersey City Housing Authority aimed to use technology to reduce social isolation and improve community connections at one of its age-restricted public housing complexes. The Authority a created a computer lab onsite, outfitting the space with desktop computers and a printer. To help residents use the technology, they Authority worked with partners to host one-on-one and small group digital literacy training in Spanish and English. Topics included computer and internet basics, email and digital art and design. Additionally, the Authority installed voice-activated smart home devices in individual apartments. Since introducing the new technology, the Authority has also worked to ensure residents have access to reliable broadband internet service.

Jersey City, NJ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Digital navigation skills

Description: This project provided Wi-Fi-enabled tablets to seniors in a public housing development. College students offered one-on-one digital literacy training.

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