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South Tucson, AZ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The Primavera Foundation improved the La Capilla neighborhood's community garden by building raised bed planters, adding ADA-compliant benches and making garden walking paths more accessible. In addition, the Foundation purchased ergonomic and adaptive tools, since the majority of residents who use the garden are older adults, often accompanied by their grandchildren. The garden improvements coincided with the City of South Tucson's Greenway Redevelopment Project, which brought public art to the neighborhood. To celebrate local residents' heritage, project organizers also installed a walking path to a mural located next to the garden. That mural -- created by student artists -- pays homage to the Yaqui and Mexican American cultures. Since this project's completion, the Foundation has made similar upgrades to another community garden.

Seaford, DE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2024

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: This project will improve a community garden, adding growing tables, water and soil for older adults who are unable to garden in plots. Expert gardeners will also provide training on growing flowers, herbs and vegetables.

Bronx, NY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The Morris Community Garden had suffered years of neglect, and the abandoned site was overrun with rats. To breathe new live into the space, BronxWorks restored the garden, located near a senior center and three schools. They renamed the space Bean Morris Garden to memorialize a young man from the neighborhood. To welcome people of all ages and abilities, the nonprofit added accessible seating to the space, along with raised garden beds. Since the renovation, residents of all ages have volunteered to tend to the plots. Organizers say the amenity offers an important outdoor gathering space for the community.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Highmore, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: The project will rebuild a community swimming pool and make it more accessible for older adults and people with disabilities by adding features such as zero-depth entry, an ADA-compliant lift and in-pool seating.

Fort Pierre, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: To provide residents the chance to grow fresh produce, the City of Fort Pierre began construction of its community garden in 2018. To kick off the project, organizers cleared the lot and constructed 24 raised beds, each including their own water spigot. The City also planted fruit trees at the site. As work continued in 2019, the City erected a fence around the gardens, added wood chips to create mud-free walkways between plots and installed picnic tables. That year all beds in the garden were rented. In 2020, the City added an accessible picnic table with an umbrella. Two local restaurants use the garden to raise produce for their menus and about 75 percent of gardeners renting plots are 60 or older. Project organizers report the success of the garden inspired other efforts to encourage healthy living in Fort Pierre, including improvements to the local trail system, a mural downtown and new lighting on a pedestrian bridge.

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