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Forman, ND

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The City of Forman transformed an empty lot into a pleasant gathering space, designed especially for older adults. The space is located on the city's Main Street, across from a senior center and next to the county health office. To activate the lot, the City installed paving stones and set up a two-person table with chairs. They also added planters, solar lights, a trash can, a metal bench and an arbor at the entrance. Flowers, shrubs and a community garden with six raised beds followed. As the only outdoor area on Forman's Main Street with seating, the site gave people a safe place to gather during the COVID-19 pandemic. With new businesses opening across the street, the City expects to see more pedestrian traffic in the neighborhood.

Malvern, AR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Established in 2020, Malvern's Story Trail and Garden is a well-loved feature of the Malvern-Hot Spring County Library. This project expanded the story trail, improving the space with new planters, windproof easels for painting classes and the installation of a butterfly-shaped table and chairs. Additionally, the library distributed nearly 2,000 children's books, with library staff assembling baskets for summer reading program participants.

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.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Durham, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Innovative home maintenance, repair and support services

Description: Like many places, Durham is experiencing an affordable housing crisis, with many longtime residents displaced from their neighborhoods. To help residents remain in their homes, Durham Habitat for Humanity expanded its Repairs Program services for low-income, older and disabled residents. The organization purchased a second-hand work truck, which helps work crews perform repairs and home maintenance tasks. Since the purchased, Habitat's teams improved homes in a year, representing a 50 percent increase from the year before. The improvements address unsafe living conditions and make homes more accessible for residents of all ages and abilities. Organizers say providing cost-effective repairs preserves affordable housing and curbs gentrification.

NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Entrepreneurship and improved economic resilience

Description: This project created a toolkit to grow local tourism along the Main-to-Main Trail. The trail winds across North Carolina, connecting more than 60 Main Street communities to showcase public art and murals, local food and cultural history and experiences. North Carolina Main Street hoped to build capacity among participating communities, helping them identify their assets and create an economic development strategy. To do this, they created a template for a tourism itinerary, which visitors can follow to find local attractions. They also developed a playbook for affective social media marketing. Since publishing the toolkit, the Rural Planning center has provided guidance on photography, videography and destination writing. Additionally, they are helping local small businessowners to better serve tourists.

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