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Sisseton, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To encourage residents to walk and increase the vibrancy of Sisseton's downtown, The Sisseton Arts Council created a new community gathering spot, which they dubbed the Midway Green Space. The site features a sculpture of a reflective, eight-point star, designed to represent the area's native Dakota and Scandinavian immigrant heritage. To make the Green Space inviting to visitors, volunteers installed granite benches and seeded native grasses. Since these improvements, project organizers secured funding for a second sculpture for the site, created by a local Native artist.

Clarion, IA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: A dilapidated, abandoned building sat in the heart of Clarion's downtown business district. But city officials were concerned demolishing the building would result in a missing tooth -- a vacant lot not conducive for redevelopment. The City made the difficult decision to tear down the building, but rather than leave the site empty they turned the space into a pocket park. Equipped with accessible picnic tables and new trees, bushes, planters and attractive grasses, the new green space gives residents easy access from a parking lot to the shops and restaurants on Central Avenue.

Wayne, MI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Derby's Alley, located in downtown Wayne, was underutilized, but organizers with Wayne Ripple Effect saw its potential as a community gathering space. To showcase the alley, the organization held eight fitness classes, including Tai Chi and cardio drumming instruction. They also installed bistro tables, benches and overhead lighting in the alley. Since then, Wayne Main Street has improved landscaping in the alley and added signage.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Ada County, ID

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Expansion and enhancement of transportation options

Description: Ada County lacks transportation options for many of its residents. To help local employers provide transportation for their employees, the Ada County Highway Department expanded its Commuteride program, which provides grants to small organizations and businesses -- many of whom are nonprofits or working directly with underserved populations -- to provide facility or mobility enhancements. The program provided shared bikes, bike racks, employee transit passes, bike repair stations, bike helmets, telework resources and breakroom amenities such as lockers and showers.

Nampa, ID

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2024

Project Category: Lifelong housing and accessibility

Description: This project will renovate an affordable housing community for older adults, keeping rents affordable and allowing residents to age in place. Renovations will maintain common areas and upgrade building systems, such as plumbing, electrical and fire protection.

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