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Pawtucket, RI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To enable older adults to exercise, socialize and enjoy nature, Pawtucket's Division of Senior Services created an outdoor activity center at Leon Mathieu Senior Center. They installed seating, planters and two large outdoor tabletop game stations. Project organizers also created an age-friendly playground for low-impact exercise, adding fitness and recreational equipment. The Senior Center provides services and programs for adults 55 and older and aims to encourage healthy aging and keep older residents connected to the community.

Evanston, WY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To bring vibrancy to Evanston's downtown, Evanston's Main Street program installed a unique, new seating option. This project added swing tables, which consist of a picnic table with bench seating on one side and swings on the other. Each table also accommodates people who use wheelchairs, who can roll up to either end of the table. To make the seating more comfortable, Main Street equipped each table with shade sails and solar lights. Additionally, the program engaged volunteers to paint pavement murals in the central business district's street crossings. The public art serves a dual purpose -- the murals add color to the streetscape and make crosswalks more noticeable to passing drivers. This calms traffic and increases pedestrian safety.

Wellsburg, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project revitalized the Town Square by leveling brick pavers and installing tables, chairs, umbrellas and trash cans, as well as murals on the walls and colorful paint on crosswalks.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Bedford, VA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Trails

Description: The Town of Bedford installed benches, bike racks, signage and trash cans along walking and bike routes, including a path known locally as the Loop, as well as two newer paths. The Town created a map to display in kiosks, which show three different options for walking the paths. Public art was a focus of this project -- the benches and racks were designed by local artists and a local metal fabrication company built them. To include residents in the planning process, the Town held a Design the Sign workshop, where attendees suggested their ideas for sign graphics. An artist then incorporated those suggestions in the final design. Project organizers say improvements to the Loop have brought awareness for the Town's efforts to revitalize the Bridge Street area.

Farmville, VA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Innovative home maintenance, repair and support services

Description: The Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity purchased a trailer and equipped it with tools, which the organization uses to make safety improvements to homes. Often owned by local families for generations, many of the homes need significant repairs. Project organizers report the trailer -- which is branded with Habitat's logo and contact info -- helps raise awareness of the home repair program. They also say other local Habitat branches have expressed interest in their own mobile repair trailers. Since the trailer purchase, the repair initiative has grown, with Habitat seeing more applications. It has since expanded its services to neighboring counties.

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