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Mission, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: The Rosebud Reservation's Kimmel Park had a bad reputation in the community, and the site badly needed maintenance. To give the space new life, the City of Mission partnered with local tribal locations to update park amenities. They installed a new playground with accessibility features, including ADA-complaint picnic tables, rubber mulch, benches and a ramp. Organizers say they hope the park becomes a welcoming space for tribal elders to visit with their grandchildren. Today, members of the community chip in to keep the park clean. And the City plans to continue making upgrades to Kimmel Park, including reopening a closed swimming pool.

Montevallo, AL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Montevallo had no commercial gym in town. To help residents -- including low-income families and older adults -- build healthy habits and reduce their risk for chronic diseases, the City installed fitness equipment in two of Montevallo's most popular public parks. The project is part of larger plans to redesign George Daily Park to be Montevallo's first ADA-accessible park. The other site -- Orr Park -- is located next door to the community's senior center. Equipment includes an ab crunch and leg lift apparatus, steps, ladder bars, pull up and push up bars and a hand cycle machine.

Wheatland, WY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: As fewer and fewer residents took up the game, the horseshoe pits in Lewis Park went largely unused. The Town of Wheatland hoped to turn the pits into a more useful space fitting residents' modern tastes. So the Town converted them into pickleball courts. The Town staff worked with volunteers to clear and resurface the space, then install nets, posts, and fencing. To raise money for further improvements -- including seating for spectators -- the Town hosted a fundraising charity onsite. Project organizers say the new courts give people of all ages an option for outdoor exercise. Pickleball is popular with older adults since the fast-paced game is low impact and easy on joints.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

St. Paul, MN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2024

Project Category: Reconnecting Communities

Description: This project will create a virtual reality production depicting life in the Rondo neighborhood before, during and after a 1960s Interstate highway project split the community in two. Organizers will ask older residents to contribute their stories.

St. Paul, MN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The city government in St. Paul hoped to enhance walkability through safety improvements at two unmarked pedestrian crossings along Marion Street. To accomplish that, the city created two long-term temporary crosswalks at Ravoux and Fuller Streets. The work included adding pedestrian crosswalk signs, painting high-visibility block-pattern crosswalk markings and installing pedestrian refuge islands and bump-outs. The city also restricted parking near the intersections and installed a temporary radar speed sign along the corridor. The project enabled local government agencies and civic organizations to gather data needed to support permanent crosswalks upgrades in the area. Using the results, the city began its re-envisioning Marion Street as a pedestrian-friendly, multi-modal corridor in 2021.

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