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Homer, AK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Trails

Description: To welcome visitors of all abilities, the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust installed large-font signage on its Poopdeck Platt property. Part of long-term efforts to create an accessible trail on the site, the signs display QR codes, which link to recordings of local people reading the sign text accompanied by soothing music. The park is in downtown Homer, and the trail connects Homer's Independent Living Center to nearby Bishop's Beach. Today, the property is home to a story walk and the local library has plans to expand the trail, with a focus on local indigenous history. Since installing the signposts, the Land Trust has referenced their design to inspire signage at kiosks along other trails.

Sandpoint, ID

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Trails

Description: After acquiring a new, 180-acre forest property, organizers with the Kanitsu Land Trust wanted to ensure people of all ability levels could enjoy it. So they created an all-abilities trail to draw visitors to the site. Pine Street Woods now boasts half a mile of accessible walkways, as well as four new benches. Since completing these improvements, the Land Trust reports an uptick in trail use, with over 100 visitors per day in summer 2020. The trail now serves as an example to municipal leaders of how to address accessibility challenges that limit outdoor access for those with mobility issues.

Deer Lodge, MT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Trails

Description: To give residents a new way to access Deer Lodge's commercial district, the Powell County Parks Board built a trail connector linking up a park in the town's residential area. To enable construction, the County worked with a landowner to secure a public access easement through his property. Then the County's road crew donated its time, labor and equipment to prepare the site, installing and relocating culverts. Additionally, the Board hired a contractor to build fencing along the easement, creating a border for the trail. Before, residents had to walk along a 45-mile-per-hour highway to reach businesses and the local medical center. But since construction, Deer Lodge has continued to improve its trail system, which the City has identified as an essential feature of its ongoing downtown revitalization efforts.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Sutton, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The Town of Sutton is home to a popular community garden and vibrant farmers market, but the two were cut off from each other by a busy street. To help residents take advantage of both amenities, Sutton Community Development Corporation connected the spaces by adding a crosswalk. Volunteers painted the crossing's pavement with bright colors, making it more visible to passing drivers. They also planted flags along the path between the garden and market to guide people from one to the other. Additionally, the CDC improved gathering spaces at the garden and market. They added tables and seating to the garden space to allow people to gather there. To improve the market space, volunteers installed string lights and shade sails and cleaned up a state area at the market, which had been damaged in high winds.

Weston, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2024

Project Category: Walk Audits

Description: Walk audits will evaluate pedestrian safety conditions along two busy roads connecting a senior center with a commercial area. The commission will share findings at community meetings to advocate for walkability improvements.

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