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Warrensburg, MO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To activate an alley in Warrensburg's downtown, this project installed seating, lighting, planters and public art in the space. Local artists created a mural and painted an outdoor staircase that connects the alley to a nearby parking lot. Additionally, the local United Way worked with local elementary students to create decorative ceramic tiles, which they attached to the alley's planters. Project organizers hope to continue partnering with local schools to create art for the community. They also plan to hold events in the alley.

Helper City, UT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Helper City Library's Dark Sky Observer Club is a group of predominately older adults with a passion for dark skies and astronomy. To encourage new residents to share in their love of outer space -- and to get help residents stay active -- the City of Helper created a Solar System walk along the local riverwalk. The one-mile path features a signpost for each planet in the Solar System, installed at intervals proportional to each planet's distance from the sun. Additionally, the signs display a QR codes, which link to audio recordings with more information about each planet. Organizers have divided the path into several smaller walks, including Mission to Mars and a comet's journey. Helper is a certified dark skies community and organizers hope the project helps educate visitors about the importance of containing light pollution.

Derry, NH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To encourage community bonding and intergenerational connections, the Marion Gerrish Community Center created an outdoor space for people to play games. The Center chose large games -- including cornhole, bocce, Jenga, Connect Four, Yardzee, Farkel, chess and checkers -- that would be easy to play and visible from the street. They made the area designated for the games level, ensuring it would be accessible and safe. The Center offers weekly times for older adults to play cornhole and bocce. Community members can sign out the games for use on the property and the Center also loans them out for local events, including Derry Fest, the Derry Farmers Market and the local police departments' National Nite Out.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Minot, ND

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: To increase vibrancy and walkability in Minot's downtown, the city's Downtown Business and Professional Association sponsored three new downtown wall murals, each created by different local artists. To encourage passersby to interact with the murals, the artists hid depictions of objects in each mural's imagery, challenging onlookers to search for elements that seem out of place in the painting's subject matter. The association worked with local businesses to acquire materials, such as paint, brushes and cleaning supplies, for the project. Each mural adorns the wall of a different local business. Over the years, Minot has become known in recent years for its assortment of colorful, creative street art -- an online tourist guide helps visitors find murals throughout town.

Hazen, ND

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Accessibility of amenities

Description: This project installed two chairlifts at the library, making the basement, where there is a meeting room, more accessible.

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