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Anchorage, AK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Folker Park is a 2-acre urban forest located within the city of Anchorage. The park is adjacent to intergenerational living facilities and in the past was used by people of all ages. However, many of the park's volunteer caretakers have stopped routine maintenance, leaving many areas overgrown and essentially unusable. To improve the park, the Anchorage Park Foundation installed six outdoor musical instruments, a reflexology footpath, a healing maze and age-accessible fitness equipment. They also gathered volunteers to weed garden beds, pick up trash and plant flowers. Today, the park a central hub for the community once again, and a source of pride for residents.

Omaha, NE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: As part of efforts to revitalize a vacant building in Upland Park, this project made accessibility upgrades nearby. Project organizers installed a new walking path and accessible seating onsite. To beautify the space, volunteers worked to create public art. Additionally, this project replaced temporary garden beds with permanent raised-bed planters, which allow people to garden without having to squat down -- making the activity possible for people of all ages and abilities.

New Orleans, LA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: In New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, many residents lack access to public outdoor spaces. To provide additional recreational areas and bolster intergenerational connections for residents, the Sankofa Community Development Corporation improved Sankofa Wetland Park and Nature Trail, clearing overgrown grass, fallen trees and other obstructions from the water's edge. Project organizers also installed benches and bike racks and bought new fishing equipment for visitors to use in the park. Fishing has great cultural significance to the residents of this neighborhood and provides a way for elders to bond with and mentor local youth.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Tucson, AZ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Housing Choice Design Competitions

Description: This project will develop a design competition to promote accessory dwelling units and create a model plan catalog featuring ADUs that support a variety of needs, including for older adults and multigenerational families.

Tucson, AZ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The Blue Moon Community Garden in Tucson is located next a 17-story apartment building with hundreds of residents, many of whom are older adults. However, the garden lacked shade and amenities, including public bathrooms and benches, which discouraged potential volunteers. Community Gardens of Tucson, which manages twenty gardens across the city, installed tables, benches and pop-up shade structures. They also built raised garden beds, improved pathways and added a compostable toilet onsite. The improvements allow garden to offer more diverse programming for community members, which has led to more volunteer engagement.

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