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Clarion, IA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: A dilapidated, abandoned building sat in the heart of Clarion's downtown business district. But city officials were concerned demolishing the building would result in a missing tooth -- a vacant lot not conducive for redevelopment. The City made the difficult decision to tear down the building, but rather than leave the site empty they turned the space into a pocket park. Equipped with accessible picnic tables and new trees, bushes, planters and attractive grasses, the new green space gives residents easy access from a parking lot to the shops and restaurants on Central Avenue.

Alamogordo, NM

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project will beautify alleys that visitors will use to access businesses during an upcoming streetscape construction project on Alamogordo's main street. The grant will repair surfaces, making them safer for walking, and add benches and flowers, shade and LED lighting.

Kuna, ID

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Kuna has a large parking lot in the center of its downtown that goes largely underused for most of the year. To spark the community's imagination, the City and Idaho Smart Growth hosted the Park for a Day event, which turned the lot into a pop-up plaza. The event featured live music, a food vendor and sketches illustrating ways the space could be permanently transformed. Attendees also contributed their own designs for the parking lot. Suggestions included using the space for a series of short-term, recurring events, such as an Oktoberfest, a Christmas village, a renaissance fair or themed dance nights. The City went on to explore several ideas from the pop-up event, including paving the parking lot with solar panels and installing green stormwater infrastructure to sustain landscaping at the site.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Wilmington, DE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: During the planning stages for a mural at the 4th Rodney Park, Pastor Lottie Lee-Davis -- a community leader and the project's main partner -- was killed in a car crash. The original goal for the mural was to depict positive imagery for neighborhood children to look up to as they played. After Pastor Lottie's death, organizers used the mural to honor the woman who was a beloved leader and advocate for the 4th Street corridor's residents. Local artists Crae Washington and JaQuanne LeRoy Daniels made Lee-Davis the central figure in the mural, surrounding her with bold colors and words representing career aspirations of the area's children and teens. Since the mural's installation other improvements have come to the park, including new greenery and a bike repair station. Cornerstone West has also worked to implement public art and beautification projects at other nearby parks, including Judy Johnson Park, Cool Spring Park and Tilton Park.

Wilmington, DE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Engaging people in transportation options/safety

Description: The project will support Open Streets events by closing streets to vehicle traffic, creating safe spaces for residents of all ages to move freely and advocating for permanent improvements to the city's streets.

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