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Readfield, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Readfield's Age-Friendly Committee set out to enhance the town's public spaces and draw the community together. They purchased outdoor furniture to activate two spaces -- one outside the local public library and the other at Readfield Beach on Maranacook Lake. The beach's moveable Adirondack chairs give visitors a change to interact with each other. Additionally, the tables and chairs at the library allow residents to access free Wi-Fi service, even when the library building is closed. Library visitors of all wages can also rest there after enjoying the nearby story walk.

Charleston, SC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The American College of the Building Arts installed benches and a new pergola to create a multigenerational gathering space at the Community's Hope Impact Center, a local community center. The College saw the installation process as an opportunity for education, holding workshops on masonry where volunteers helped lay bricks for the space's walkway. With a goal of preserving, enriching and educating about architectural heritage, the organization trains artisans in traditional building crafts, such as carpentry and forging architectural iron. It was founded in the wake of Hurricane Hugo in 1989, which damaged or destroyed much of coastal South Carolina's historic architecture.

San Diego, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Part of Vision Zero work to reduce pedestrian fatalities, City Heights CDC worked to create a sense of space and improve safety at a dangerous intersection. The City Heights neighborhood is an enclave for refugees from Somalia and other East African countries. Residents -- particularly those 50 or older -- often gather in parking lots and on sidewalks at the busy area along University Avenue, which home to shops, markets and mosques. This placemaking project created a safe gathering space, separated from vehicle traffic. Working with residents' input, the CDC designed the space to reflect the neighborhood's culture. They installed seating, planter and tables with board game tops and painted a mural onsite. Organizers say the space helps combat social isolation and is a catalyst for investment in the neighborhood.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Reedsville, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2024

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: This project will install an ADA-compliant water fountain in a town park that is undergoing renovation.

Arthurdale, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2024

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project will add outdoor amenities near several historic buildings dating to the 1930s. Improvements will include sidewalk repairs and the addition of benches, trash bins, a bike rack and a dog waste station.

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