Click here to learn about the 2024 AARP Community Challenge — and apply by March 6, 2024.

See More Grantees Like This One

Lynn, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The PATIO Parklet program involved installing three modular, portable parklets in downtown Lynn. Parklets transform curbside parking spaces into vibrant community spaces. The ones in Lynn include tables and seating, greenery and public art. Since installing the parklets, Lynn has seen improved street safety, increased foot traffic, more social interactions among residents and new, culturally relevant programming downtown. The parklets have hosted musical performances, sidewalk sales and the Living Room Series -- facilitated bilingual conversations on important local topics. One installation of the Living Room Series gave residents the chance to meet with school committee and city council candidates. Project organizers say the parklet initiative also helped Beyond Walls to deepen its relationship with partner organizations, including Greater Lynn Senior Services and the Lynn Council on Aging.

Boston, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To encourage walking, Boston installed benches in Main Street neighborhood districts across the city. Older adults tested and approved the benches and worked with the City to identify the best locations for them. The initiative's guiding principle was that making walking safe and comfortable for older adults creates a better environment for people of all ages. Project organizers report residents were eager to use the new benches. In fact, as Department of Public Works staff were finishing up an installation, a few people were often waiting to take a seat. The benches contribute to vibrant public spaces near businesses and merchants say they appreciate the increased foot traffic. Project organizers say the installations helped develop a city-wide framework for a sustainable bench program, addressing installation and long-term maintenance.

Greenfield, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The City of Greenfield removed 250-square-feet of asphalt from a downtown parking lot, converting it to a pocket park -- a space for people instead of cars. The Fiske Avenue Pocket Park features benches, a chess table, a bike repair station, a pollinator garden and a quirky bee sculpture. Project organizers say the new, centrally located green space supportz a central goal of the city's Sustainable Master Plan: to create a vibrant, walkable downtown. Additionally, removing the asphalt supported efforts to mitigate stormwater runoff. The project's success also helped the City secure a 200,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Bridgewater, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The project will fund a garden and outdoor activity area designed for older adults. It will include ADA-compliant and wheelchair-accessible raised gardening beds, grilling stations and outdoor seating.

Taunton, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Walkability

Description: This project will conduct three walk audits in a business district to identify the best route for a three-mile walking path to encourage recreation, physical fitness and tourism.

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Phone: 866-448-3621
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