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District Heights, MD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The City of District Heights set out to add deck furniture to an outdoor patio at its Youth Services Bureau. The City uses the space for public gatherings, as well as fundraisers and other activities for people of all ages. Additionally, the City hopes older adults will use the peaceful patio for meditation and reflection. To ensure the new seating meets the community's needs, they hosted an event with the local AARP chapter to get older adults' opinions on furniture options. Based on that feedback, they purchased new tables and chairs for the deck.

Martin, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: A pocket park and community garden in Martin had fallen into disrepair, but organizers with South Dakota State University Extension hoped to breathe new life into the space. They engaged volunteers to paint the Hope Garden's pergola and remove broken picnic tables, replacing them with new, accessible tables. Additionally, they repaired the garden's drip irrigation system, installed a trash can and added a portable handwashing station. A local artist also painted a mural onsite and new solar lights make the mini-park feel safter at night. Project organizers say the Hope Garden will offer a space for community events and educational offerings. They say improvements to the site helped make the space more sustainable and welcoming to community members.

Moulton, AL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To revitalize Moulton's downtown area, Moulton Lions Club created parklets, a mural and temporary, artistic crosswalks. The mural is located along Bylar Road -- the area's oldest public road -- and showcases the route's history. To Project organizers also outfitted several parklets with movable benches, chairs and umbrellas to increase foot traffic and provide rest and shade during events, including the annual Strawberry Festival. In addition, the Lions Club created artistic crosswalks with sidewalk chalk. Each had a local theme, from educating locals about endangered salamanders to paying homage to local resident Jesse Owen, who competed at the 1936 Olympics. Lions Club organizers says they hope the project will spur residents to consider how art can make public spaces more appealing.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Emmett, ID

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Accessibility of amenities

Description: This project installed a digital locker system outside the library so patrons can pick up and drop off materials when the building is closed.

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.

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