See More Projects Like This One

Coamo, PR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2024

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project will renovate a shuttered school building to create a community multipurpose room where local nonprofit organizations can host meetings and events.

Grand Forks, ND

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: As part of its mission to connect the community, the Grand Forks Public Library created an intergenerational music playground on its grounds. A group of older adult volunteers helped select all-weather musical instruments and installed them on a concrete slab. Since the installation, the project has brought adults and children together, demonstrating the value of activating underused public spaces. Additionally, the playground has strengthened the library's relationship with a nearby senior housing community. Project organizers say the musical instruments offer psychological and health benefits for older adults, such as reduced stress, improved mood and greater cognitive skills.

Jackson, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Part of wider efforts to beautify the South Jackson neighborhood, this project activated several vacant lots, turning them into community gardens, creative market spaces and pocket parks. The revitalization initiative also added seating and landscaping at a bus stop, painted a mural and made repairs to housing subdivision entrances. Community members volunteered to help with the efforts. In recent years, South Jackson has struggled with business closures and vacant housing. In a letter to the community, Coalition Executive Director Bennie Hudson wrote, We must do something about this for ourselves as elders and adults, but even more for our children and youth. In the future, project organizers hope to set up a homeowners association for the neighborhood to support ongoing maintenance and future improvements.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Lemmon, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Staff at the Lemmon Public Library saw a need to reduce social isolation in town, particularly among older residents. To address this, they set out to improve the library's public gathering space. Project organizers created a new bakery cafe, purchasing folding tables with stacking chairs, an acrylic pastry cabinet, a cake cover and cupcake display, tablecloths and pump pots for coffee. Since the cafe's opening, the library has used new tables and chairs at hundreds of events and the space has accommodated pop-up shops. The opportunity to bake for the cafe led some residents to launch their own baking businesses and one retired baker was inspired to plan a workshop for women starting businesses. Sparked by the success of the cafe, library staff have since pursued other opportunities to expand community space, including providing library patrons with an outdoor area for reading and gathering.

Lemmon, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Engaging residents in vibrant public places

Description: The project will purchase a portable dance floor, which residents will be able to check out from the library for local events.

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