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Dunellen, NJ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Trails

Description: To make the half-mile trail in Columbia Park more accessible, the Borough of Dunellen installed 12 ADA-compliant benches. Volunteers added mulch around each bench and planted trees, shrubs and pollinator-friendly vegetation, with plaques identifying each plant. They also painted a footbridge connecting the part to a residential neighborhood. The project engaged Dunellen's mayor and Borough Council, along with the Dunellen Shade Tree Commission, the parks and recreation and public works departments, the Dunellen Arts and Culture Commission, the Dunellen Senior Club, the local football team and the Dunellen Municipal Alliance. Since installation, the Borough has seen a 44 percent uptick in trails users, as well as a 50 percent increase in older adults visiting the trail.

West Rutland, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Trails

Description: Visitors walking to West Rutland's public recreation had to walk on the road alongside vehicle traffic. To help residents safety reach the 125-acre greenspace, the Town built a new multiuse trail. The pathway also links to a nearby residential area, giving people easy access to healthy outdoor activities. To accommodate people of all ages and abilities, the pathway has a flat, accessible surface. Project organizers have planned snowshoe tours along the path, as well as a 5K race. They say increased connectivity will give residents better access to physical exercise and draw more visitors to the recreation area. In the future, the Town hope to establish a link from West Rutland's recreation path to Rutland County's trail network.

Carbondale, CO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Trails

Description: The local age-friendly initiative worked to plant a new garden along the Rio Grande Trail. The garden features drought-resistant pollinator plants. To give trail users of all ages and abilities a place to rest, volunteers also installed ADA-accessible under shade trees.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Liberty, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Accessibility of amenities

Description: Getting into the water at Liberty's popular public beaches has always been treacherous, especially for older people and those less able to navigate the slippery, uneven granite ledges at the shore. To make two local lakes more accessible, the Citizen's Association of Liberty Lakes added new steps and handrails. Designed to be removed at the end of each beach season, the non-skid steps and handrails at Steven's Pond are made of aluminum. The custom handrail at Lake St. George is bolted to the ledge, partly underwater. The Association also added picnic tables and benches for year-round use at both sites. I'm so glad you put in this handrail for us older adult swimmers, one visitor told project organizers. I used to dread navigating the slippery rocks to get my swims. Now I can feel safe. Organizers also say the project strengthened cooperation between the Citizens' Association and the Town of Liberty.

Chelsea, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: This project will create an intergenerational, accessible community garden at an elementary school, with eight raised beds and an accessible bench, as well as signs and decorative artwork created by the students.

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Portland, ME 04101
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