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Dryden, NY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Trails

Description: To encourage people to use the Dryden Rail Trail, the Town of Dryden set out to provide resting places and information along the trail. They installed seven benches and three kiosks along the 2.9-mile path, which connects the villages of Dryden and Freeville. The kiosks display maps, trail rules and more. Today, the Town Recreation Department offers intergenerational programming on the trail, including fitness walks, bike outings and community running events.

East Bridgewater, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Trails

Description: Healthy East Bridgewater -- a community coalition convened by the Old Colony YMCA -- sought to improve connectivity and accessibility along the Hiking Viking Trail. Established in 2015, the trail features a 5-mile walking loop linking Bridgewater's town hall to the YMCA and other locations. Project organizers installed five new benches along the pathway, added signage to help people find their way and installed boardwalks to level out a portion of the walkway. To welcome visitors, they then hosted an October Pumpkin Walk, which drew about 400 participants. Since completing the improvements, organizers say they've seen increased community interest in the trail and its amenities.

Cascade, ID

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Trails

Description: A half-mile section of Cascade's popular Strand Trail was muddy, icy or snowy much of the year. To make it accessible year-round, the City of Cascade leveled and paved the trail's surface. Project organizers also added three new benches and wayfinding signage. The improved trail segment connects two branches of the Strand Trail, which meanders for two miles along the Payette River and offers visitors stunning views of nearby mountains and bird watching and fishing opportunities. Additionally, it extends access to a visitor's center and to Kelly's Whitewater Park, a nonprofit facility serving whitewater rafters, kayakers and paddle boarders. The City is planning to pave another trail section in the future.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Bath, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Accessory dwelling units, tiny homes and manufactured housing

Description: To inform residents about the benefits of accessory dwelling units, the local age-friendly initiative launched an educational campaign. ADUs consist of a second housing unit -- including self-contained apartments, cottages or small houses -- constructed on a property alongside a preexisting single-family home. Organizers produced a multimedia package, including an ADU toolkit, video content, a website and social media posts.

Bath, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Organizers with Age-Friendly Communities of Lower Kennebec and City of Bath hoped to create inclusive public spaces for residents of all ages to enjoy. They worked with students to install outdoor chess and checkers tables at a new downtown plaza and a near a local assisted living facility. The tables are ADA accessible include benches designed for people of all ages and abilities. A spectator bench allows onlookers to take a seat and watch the players. To ensure all community members can play, game sets are available for loan at the local library and nearby businesses.

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