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Gulfport, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public place improvements to withstand extreme weather events

Description: After Hurricane Katrina nearly leveled the Bayou View West neighborhood in 2005, the Federal Emergency Management Agency bought out the remaining residents and handed the property over to the city. Today, the 40-acre tract is known as Brickyard Bayou Park. This project created the city's first dog park at the site. Known as the Bark Park, it attracted more than 200 people and dogs on its opening day in 2017. the space acts as a buffer -- if the area floods again, homes won't be at risk. And once the park dries out, people and pups can return. Since the Bark Park's creation, the City of Gulfport has added a kayak launch, a disc golf course, a nature trail and an outdoor classroom to Brickyard Bayou Park.

El Paso, TX

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public place improvements to withstand extreme weather events

Description: As part of its Million Trees El Paso initiative, Eco El Paso planted 88 native and drought-tolerant trees along the Paso Del Norte Trail. In addition, the organization improved wayfinding along the trail, which passes through the city's Thomas Many neighborhood. The City lent a hand in the effort, removing dead trees and making needed irrigation repairs. El Paso has less tree canopy cover than many other communities, with an average of fewer than three trees per acre. Project organizers hope the new trees help cool the neighborhood and combat the urban heat island effect, making walking more comfortable for residents. The City later cited the success of the project in its efforts to secure bond funding for future tree planting efforts.

Hackensack, NJ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public place improvements to withstand extreme weather events

Description: This project will provide dozens of rain barrels, as well as community education to help address future flooding. The rain barrels will be painted to serve as functional public art.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

McLoud, OK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Transportation Systems Change

Description: This project will expand transportation services to older adults, including recruiting volunteer drivers who will operate a ride-sharing service.

Wellston, OK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: This project helped to upgrade a park with a new walking trail, tables, benches and games, as well as improved pavilion restrooms.

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