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

See More Grantees Like This One

New Ulm, MN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Downtown Action Team partnered with Minnesota Main Street to encourage residents of all ages to come downtown, walk down main street and learn about local history. To encourage socializing, they rearranged underutilized benches downtown, grouping some with new outdoor tables to create places for residents to sit and linger. Organizers installed plaques featuring photos and a brief narrative on the benches. Additionally, they adorned tabled with imagery and text explaining New Ulm's history.

Rochester, MN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: After the City of Rochester cut its parks and recreation budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, many small parks in Rochester fell into disrepair. To address this, Family Service Rochester improved a pocket park in the City's Friendship Park neighborhood, a diverse, low-income area of the city. This project added new trees, benches and a multilingual information kiosk. A volunteer team dug holes, planted, watered and staked trees. Others chipped in to keep the park free of litter. Organizers say the project demonstrated that residents will invest their time to improve their neighborhood. After the project's completion, volunteers from the initiative were inspired to improve other parks in the area.

Saint Peter, MN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project will convert a vacant lot into a downtown plaza and community event space, providing a gathering place for residents and visitors.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Minneapolis, MN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Engaging people in transportation options/safety

Description: To help people become less reliant on driving to get around, Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota hosted Bikeable Community Workshops in eight municipalities. Each workshop provided community leaders with resources to make their neighborhoods more accessible and bikeable. Participants included elected officials, city staff, local nonprofits and small business owners. Following the events, BikeMN team members provided on-the-ground technical assistance and expertise to the eight host communities. Participating community leaders and bicycle advocates also formed steering committees to work on bike-friendly community goals going forward.

Brooklyn Park, MN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Accessibility of amenities

Description: The City of Brooklyn Park hoped to improve the accessibility of its community events, making them more welcoming to residents with mobility challenges. So the City invested in portable mats, which event organizers can lay down to create a 360-foot accessible pathway. Additionally, the City purchased outdoor chairs to flank the path. Meant to be used across the community, the mats and chairs are easily stored and transported between event locations by city staff.

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