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Manning, IA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Organizers with Manning Main Street hoped to encourage visitors to Manning's vibrant downtown to congregate and socialize. To create an inviting environment, they installed twelve artistic lights along Main Street. Local artisans created the lights, which are comprised of panels featuring cutouts depicting local landmarks, including the town's water tower, trestle bridge and historic Lutheran church. The additional illumination also enhances safety in the area. In the years since, Main Street Manning has focused on streetscaping and has added more art installations downtown.

McAlester, OK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: By activating an underutilized parking lot, the City of McAlester gave residents access to green space in the heart of its historic downtown. Before opening the new park, the City prepared the site, clearing concrete, replacing soil and resolving stormwater drainage issues. Dubbed Arvest Park, amenities there include accessible sidewalks, food truck hookups, bike posts, tables with seating and a water fountain. Project organizers say the park filled a need for gathering space within a commercial area and helps support local businesses. The site often accommodates pop-up business and locals use the green space to gather for lunch and meet up for shopping or errands.

Newnan, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project set out to activate a neglected alleyway, which they christened Carnegie-Thompson Alley. The space connects to a planned trail system spanning downtown Newnan. To allow residents to gather in the space, project organizers purchased seating and lighting. Public art installations are planned for the site, as well as repaving to ensure accessibility.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

El Rito, NM

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project upgraded thearea around the library by clearly separating parking from other areas with stanchions. Volunteers also added a sandbox, benches and a bicycle repair station.

Taos, NM

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2024

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: This project will upgrade a farm that hosts agricultural and therapeutic activities for military veterans and other residents. The organization will install an ADA-compliant walking trail, add tables and benches and restore a wetland area.

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