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Wilton, NH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Trails

Description: The Town of Wilton built ADA-compliant walkways along the bank of Souhegan River. The walkways connect restaurants and a veterans park to Wilton's downtown core. Part of planned improvements to the Wilton Riverwalk, the new walkways transformed a preexisting walking path into downtown's first accessible pedestrian route. After the Town secured funding for the improvements, a local telecom company donated an easement for the project. Organizers say Wilton is working to boost its local economy and position itself as a place where people can come to enjoy shopping, ecotourism and cultural events. Part of that effort is remaking the downtown into a walkable environment that caters to pedestrians instead of cars. Since then, the Town has continued revitalization efforts, and recently added a downtown marketplace for local artists and musicians.

Kenai, AK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: Hey gek'a, also known as the lingonberry or lowbush cranberry, is used by Alaska Native people to treat headaches, swelling, sore throats and tuberculosis and to dye mats, baskets and skin. After the installation of six raised gardening beds on the campus of the Dena'ina Wellness Center, Kenaitze Indian Tribe elders and other community members have improved access to the berries. They also grow 11 other indigenous, medicinal plants at the site, including chamomile, yarrow and stinging nettle. Each plant is tagged with its Dena'ina name, as well as its uses, enabling visitors to learn about the tribe's language and traditional knowledge.

Lebanon, NH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To assess the housing stock in 67 municipalities in New Hampshire and Vermont, the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission launched its Keys to the Valley Website. Grant funds supported website management and efforts to promote its use. The website includes an open data portal, where site visitors can engage with regional housing data, read personal stories, view maps and use interactive tools for analysis. Aerial and ground photography highlight the different types of housing across the region. Project organizers hope the website will highlight each community's unique housing needs, as well as features such as proximity to grocery stores and hospitals. To promote the site, commission staff created a video, launched a newsletter, attended public engagement events and talked with residents about the Keys to the Valley initiative.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Pensacola, FL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The Gonzalez Street Shareway in Pensacola is a wide, busy road dominated by cars. To demonstrate how the thoroughfare could accommodate both vehicles and pedestrians, Bike Pensacola conducted a one-day demonstration of traffic calming features. Bike Pensacola fabricated traffic circles and temporarily narrowed the roadway from four to two lanes. To test out the traffic control measures, about 300 bicyclists participated in a slow ride along the Shareway, cycling between three Pensacola parks. Additionally, Bike Pensacola partnered with local businesses and organizations to bring a local art market to the shareway including a sidewalk book sale, food trucks, self-guided walking tours and a scavenger hunt.

Pensacola, FL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Accessory dwelling units, tiny homes and manufactured housing

Description: This project built twotiny houses. One housed a low-income older adult, the other became a model home to educate the community about the ways tiny houses can help alleviate the city's severe housing shortage.

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