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Burlington, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Developing projects based on residents' priorities

Description: Because many local news sources struggle to stay afloat, educators at the University of Vermont launched an initiative to provide content to local papers and statewide news outlets. The Community News Service hired student journalists from around the state to produce stories on topics related to livable communities, including local investments in parks and public spaces, transportation connectivity and sidewalk expansions. Newspapers could then print those stories for free. The students gained hands-on reporting experience and also took photographs and created videos and podcasts. In addition, CNS organized reporting blitzes, assigning reporters to cover events such as elections, town meetings and a local Green-Up Day. Project organizers say they hope the local coverage helps residents stay informed and become engaged in their local community.

San Leandro, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Developing projects based on residents' priorities

Description: The City of San Leandro hosted a design charrette to engage residents -- including students and older adults -- in the planning process for a school gardening space. Historically, teachers and students interested in improving the space had difficulty connecting with community groups. The design workshop addressed this, bringing together local schools with Friends of the San Leandro Cree, StopWaste, and the Sogorea Te Land Trust, a local indigenous group. Participants brainstormed options to create an ADA-compliant outdoor education lab where residents can learn about gardening and the San Leandro Creek ecosystem. Ultimately, project organizers adapted curriculum developed during the charrette in the design for a second garden site at San Leandro High School. Organizers say the gardening sites will provide hands-on experiences for students and community members to engage in watershed ecology, gardening and indigenous history.

Brattleboro, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Developing projects based on residents' priorities

Description: This project will organize walk-and-talks and indoor workshops led by community members aged 50 to inform residents about the construction of a riverside park and get them engaged in shaping its future development.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Manning, IA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Organizers with Manning Main Street hoped to encourage visitors to Manning's vibrant downtown to congregate and socialize. To create an inviting environment, they installed twelve artistic lights along Main Street. Local artisans created the lights, which are comprised of panels featuring cutouts depicting local landmarks, including the town's water tower, trestle bridge and historic Lutheran church. The additional illumination also enhances safety in the area. In the years since, Main Street Manning has focused on streetscaping and has added more art installations downtown.

Glidden, IA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Trails

Description: Glidden's Northland Park features a mile-long trail system that winds through natural grasslands, a butterfly garden, picnic areas and more. But the park sits across a major roadway from another popular site -- the city's aquatic center. To improve connectivity, City officials set out to create a way to walk from one to the other. They installed more than 600 square feet of additional sidewalk and created a crosswalk across Highway 30, complete with flashing crossing signs to alert drivers of pedestrians.

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