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College Place, WA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public spaces improvements to increase high-speed internet availability

Description: Many residents of College Place lacked access to reliable high-speed internet. To address this, the City of College Place installed hotspots at parks, playgrounds, outdoor movie venues, farmers markets and the local municipal center. Organizers ensured each chosen location had a parking lot, allowing residents to access the internet from their vehicles. To spread the word, the City posted signs advertising the hotspots and City staff attended community events to discuss the free Wi-Fi initiative. Project organizers say public Wi-Fi helps residents access important online resources, such as local job postings. Additionally, the undertaking strengthened the City's relationship with the local school district and affordable housing providers.

Spearfish, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: This project improved crosswalks -- as well as directional signage -- in Spearfish. Organizers worked to identify areas frequented by older adults. Then they ensured intersections in those areas had curb cuts, making them more accessible.

Canistota, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: This project set out to improve an undeveloped park. To do this, the City installed accessible picnic tables, benches and a water fountain onsite. Organizers hope the improvements improve safety at the park, making residents more likely to visit.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

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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