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Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Athens, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Inclusive public space improvements

Description: Athens has a rich African American history that spans many generations, yet has lacked an appropriate venue to share its stories. The Downtown Athens Development Authority created a permanent exhibit at the Ware-Lydon House Museum about people enslaved in the region, which also featured stories about their descendants. The exhibit was developed alongside the museum's new, 40-volume African American heritage library and community conversation area, which includes tables and chairs where visitors can gather. Additionally, the Authority developed the first section of an African American Heritage Pathway walking tour, which travels between the museum and the home of one of the first vaudeville theaters in the U.S. built, owned, and operated by a Black entrepreneur.

Monroe, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To give people an outdoor space to socialize in the heart of downtown, the City of Monroe transformed its visitor center's concrete patio into a new mini-park. The City brightened up the area by adding planters, seating, outdoor games and a mural painted by local youth. The City then unveiled the new space during the local fall festival. Additionally, project organizers made enhancements to the existing hammock park located next to the visitor's center. The site offers visitors a spot to relax in one of several hammocks. To accommodate more foot traffic, the City added bench swings and pergolas for shade. Inspired by the visitor center improvements, nearby businesses put out their own planters by their storefronts. Project organizers say the upgrades helped lift the spirits of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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