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Boston, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: This project repaired a hazardous walkway at Southwest Corridor Community Farm and built four raised-bed gardens for gardeners with disabilities at Savin and Maywood Community Garden.

Chicago, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The El Paseo Community Garden in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood added a new gathering space, dubbed El Convivio or The Gathering. The goal of the project was to make the garden more accessible to Latino older adults living in nearby apartment buildings. Improvements to the space include an outdoor kitchen and patio with a fire pit, ADA-compliant seating, walking paths and an accessible planting station. Planters at the site were specifically designed to grow culturally relevant produce, including tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions. The picnic area's stucco and ceramic tiles mimic designs seen in Mexican haciendas. Garden leaders partnered with nonprofit architectural firm Human Scale to involve garden members in the space's design and volunteers from the neighborhood installed the new amenities. As El Paseo's leadership finalized El Convivio, they also worked with the City of Chicago to secured additional land to expand the garden.

Reno, NV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: Many of Reno's Native residents have limited access to fresh produce. To provide nutritious food to local families, the Center for Healthy Aging concerted a vacant lot into an intergenerational, indigenous community garden. The Center wanted to ensure the space was accessible and welcoming, so it installed ADA-compliant benches, raised garden beds and LED lighting in the space. Today, the garden hosts programming for people of all ages, including culinary classes, culturally relevant gardening instruction and a harvest festival.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

San Diego, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: This project turned a patch of dirt in Linda Vista Community Park into a garden. Today, the site provided produce for a local environmental learning center. The garden also serves as an alternative food source in an area that's considered a food desert.

San Diego, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Part of Vision Zero work to reduce pedestrian fatalities, City Heights CDC worked to create a sense of space and improve safety at a dangerous intersection. The City Heights neighborhood is an enclave for refugees from Somalia and other East African countries. Residents -- particularly those 50 or older -- often gather in parking lots and on sidewalks at the busy area along University Avenue, which home to shops, markets and mosques. This placemaking project created a safe gathering space, separated from vehicle traffic. Working with residents' input, the CDC designed the space to reflect the neighborhood's culture. They installed seating, planter and tables with board game tops and painted a mural onsite. Organizers say the space helps combat social isolation and is a catalyst for investment in the neighborhood.

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