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Raleigh, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: As part of efforts to set up a new community center at a donated house, the City of Oaks Foundation purchased furnishings and equipment to host events onsite. To get the property ready, the Foundation hosted several volunteer days, where community members helped restore trails and clear underbrush onsite. In the months that followed, programming at the Joslin House and Garden ranged from plein air painting, art showings, a nature event featuring live owls and other creatures, a mother-grandmother tea, gardening workshops and a lecture on World Way I history. Project organizers say these events -- and others -- have helped with fundraising efforts as work on the house and surrounding gardens continues. The Foundation estimates more than 400 visitors each year have attended events in the community space, with many others visiting to stroll the property.

Allentown, PA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley installed new tables, benches and chairs, lighting and flower beds at the entrance to a local senior center. The enhancements helped create a safe, comfortable outdoor space for community members of all ages. Nearly 90 older adults use the Center on a daily basis and visitors now use the space to relax and converse. Project organizers report visitors and staff appreciate the beautiful space and say it has instilled a sense of pride in the community. Inspired by the success of this project, the United Way went on to plan a similar gathering space at another community center.

Hettinger, ND

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To expand recreation options for residents of Hettinger, this project activated Centennial Square, an underused space in the city's downtown. The Hettinger Area Chamber of Commerce added outdoor games to the square, including Jenga and chess. Organizers say they hope the games plaza draw people downtown and provide opportunities for intergenerational activities. The biggest highlight of this project was the way that a few games brought together a diverse spread of community members of different ages, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jasmin Fosheim said.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Orlando, FL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public spaces improvements to increase high-speed internet availability

Description: In the neighborhoods surrounding Prince Hall Park and Willows Park, a large percentage of residents lack reliable access to broadband internet. To help meet this need, the City of Orlando installed wheelchair accessible, solar powered tables and shade structures -- each outfitted with charging stations and Wi-Fi hotspots -- at both neighborhood parks. Rated for 175 mile-per-hour winds, the tables can sustain hurricane-strength gusts, allowing residents to use them to charge phones, call loved ones or access emergency information during disaster scenarios. Local artists painted the concrete pads that anchor the two tables to depict positive images representing the community.

Orlando, FL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Accessory dwelling units, tiny homes and manufactured housing

Description: The project will raise awareness of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and make the permit process more user-friendly for intergenerational households that want to build an ADU for older family members.

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