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Chelmsford, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Inclusive public space improvements

Description: Organizers with the Chelmsford Public Library set out to recognize indigenous peoples' contributions throughout local history. To do this, the library installed informational kiosks. Additionally, they constructed five freestanding mini free libraries along local walking paths. To further engage residents, they also hosted educational programing focusing on arts and history.

St. Paul, MN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Inclusive public space improvements

Description: St. Paul's North End, originally settled around 1850, once was a magnet for European immigrants who worked for the railroads. In the late 1900s the neighborhood became a haven for migrants from Laos, Somalia and Burma, making it one of the most diverse places in Minnesota. The District 6 Planning Council, a local community organization that later changed its name to the North End Neighborhood Association, wanted a way to convey multilingual community and events information to residents who don't use the internet. The organization purchased five message boards and install them at two community gardens, at an outdoor seating area by an ice cream shop and in other locations.

Falcon Heights, MN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Inclusive public space improvements

Description: The Philando Castile Peace Garden Committee prepared the site of its planned memorial garden honoring Falcon Heights resident Philando Castile, who was killed by police in 2016. The Committee completed surveys of the property, conducted soil testing and created renderings of the planned garden. They created mockups of a fence designed to feature community art, as well as a remembrance bench. The Committee also hosted community work days, where volunteers prepared the soil and planted greenery. In the months since, the Committee has continued to raise private donations for the garden's creation and long-term upkeep. They recently completed accessible pathways, the remembrance bench and art at the site. Located at the site of the 2016 shooting, the garden is designed to give visitors a space to collective reflect, explore solutions to combat violence and foster community agency.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Honolulu, HI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Innovative home maintenance, repair and support services

Description: Oahu is home to many older adults hoping to age in place. However, aging homes can make this difficult. Working with Palolo Chinese Home, Age-Friendly Honolulu created the Safe Homes 4 Kapuna program, which provides aging-in-place education, as well as home assessments and modifications, to older adults in the Palolo Valley neighborhood. The program produced print and electronic versions of a booklet, called Hale4Kapuna. The publication includes tips about renters' rights, permitting processes, funding sources and types of home modifications beneficial for older adults, as well as information on home assessments and basic handyman work. The group also provided home assessments to six older adults residing in the Palolo Valley.

Honolulu, HI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: While Hawaii is known for beaches and lush mountains, many urban areas lack accessible green space. To give residents outdoor space, Better Block Hawaii planned, designed and installed two parklets in Honolulu's Kalihi neighborhood. Working with the City of Honolulu to identify areas of need, they installed the first parklet at Richie's Drive Inn, transforming a parking area into a mini park with tables, benches, planters and a mural. Parklets help local businesses extend their storefronts onto the sidewalk and boost revenue by creating cozy, inviting gathering places.


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