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Anchorage, AK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Folker Park is a 2-acre urban forest located within the city of Anchorage. The park is adjacent to intergenerational living facilities and in the past was used by people of all ages. However, many of the park's volunteer caretakers have stopped routine maintenance, leaving many areas overgrown and essentially unusable. To improve the park, the Anchorage Park Foundation installed six outdoor musical instruments, a reflexology footpath, a healing maze and age-accessible fitness equipment. They also gathered volunteers to weed garden beds, pick up trash and plant flowers. Today, the park a central hub for the community once again, and a source of pride for residents.

Wellston, OK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: This project helped to upgrade a park with a new walking trail, tables, benches and games, as well as improved pavilion restrooms.

Bolton, CT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: To help local older adults stay physically active, this project installed a new pickleball court behind Bolton's senior center. Volunteers also installed a bench onsite to give players and spectators a place to rest. Pickleball -- a fast-paced game combining elements of tennis and ping-pong -- is popular with older adults since is low-impact.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Three Forks, MT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Trails

Description: The City of Three Forks improved its Headwaters Trail system by installing benches and bike racks, as well as signage displaying trail directions and mileage. Project organizers placed the new benches at prime locations for viewing wildlife. The City also modified the pavement where trails cross local streets to make them easily passable for wheelchair users. These improvements helped bolster community support for the Jefferson Trail Loop -- a new trail within the Headwaters system.

Bozeman, MT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The City of Bozeman partnered with the Western Transportation Institute to create a pop-up trailer, which they lend to community groups who want to test out street concepts and advocate for permanent changes. The toolkit contains materials for temporary demonstrations, such as straw wattles, planter boxes, pavement paint and tires. These are useful for creating curb extensions and pedestrian islands -- features that calm traffic by narrowing lanes and increasing the visibility of cyclists and pedestrians. The City deployed the kit at the intersection of Tamarack and North Tracy, where residents often complain about speeding. Located near a park, senior center and the county fairgrounds, the intersection is popular with pedestrians and cyclists. When the City polled passersby about the interventions, two-thirds of the feedback they heard was positive. The City also set up radar speed detection equipment, which showed slower vehicle speeds during pop-up project.

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