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Nashville, TN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To help older adults age in place in their community, Rebuilding Together Nashville made improvements to three community spaces in the Bordeaux neighborhood. The nonprofit gathered feedback from residents to choose which spaces to update. At FiftyForward Bordeaux -- a senior center -- volunteers installed a shade structure, allowing visitors to comfortably gather outdoors. They also added a shed onsite and updated the center's interior, including painting and installing shelving. The Infinity Center is an after-school center that hosts children's theater and community classes. There, volunteers replaced windows, sealed water leaks and repaired a dilapidated deck. Finally, they helped Brooklyn Heights Community Garden transition from a group of raised beds to a full-scale urban farm. Volunteers demolished and moved old garden beds and prepared the site for a new pack and wash station, greenhouse and production garden.

Ponce, PR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Ponce -- Puerto Rico's second largest city -- is recovering after two hurricanes and several earthquakes damaged its downtown, leaving many families homeless. As part of reconstruction efforts, City leaders are focusing on bolstering community arts and activating public spaces. To make the downtown core more inviting, the City improved a walkway that connects the Plaza del Mercado Isabel II with the local marketplace. To prepare the site, City staff made infrastructure upgrades and revamped landscaping. They then added tables and benches to the site, allowing visitors to gather to enjoy live music, play board games and exercise. The City also installed a platform where artisans can display their work.

Youngstown, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project activated a vacant space in Youngstown, converting it into a pocket park. Volunteers equipped the mini-park with benches, porch-type swings, a flagpole and picnic tables.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Dora, AL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Addressing community health

Description: The grant will bolster the mission's food giveaway program, which provides groceries to more than 1,000 local families, 80 percent of whom are older residents. The money will be used for needed items such as grocery carts and commercial-grade shelving to expand the warehouse's capacity

Moulton, AL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To revitalize Moulton's downtown area, Moulton Lions Club created parklets, a mural and temporary, artistic crosswalks. The mural is located along Bylar Road -- the area's oldest public road -- and showcases the route's history. To Project organizers also outfitted several parklets with movable benches, chairs and umbrellas to increase foot traffic and provide rest and shade during events, including the annual Strawberry Festival. In addition, the Lions Club created artistic crosswalks with sidewalk chalk. Each had a local theme, from educating locals about endangered salamanders to paying homage to local resident Jesse Owen, who competed at the 1936 Olympics. Lions Club organizers says they hope the project will spur residents to consider how art can make public spaces more appealing.

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