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Brainerd, MN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Expansion and enhancement of transportation options

Description: Many older adults in central Minnesota are unaware of their public transit options or lack information on how to use them. Organizers with the Region Five Development Commission set out to expand transportation access, while also combatting social isolation. The Commission, which serves Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena Counties, produced How to Ride the Bus videos with information specific to each county. They also distributed transit passes to older adult residents. Additionally, the Commission provided fitness club memberships to residents interested in improving their physical and mental fitness.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Detroit, MI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Accessibility of amenities

Description: To welcome older adults and people with mobility challenges, this project installed an ADA-compliant boardwalk and deck near Mission Point, a nursing and rehabilitation facility. In addition to creating a flat walking surface, volunteers installed seating to give visitors a place to rest. The improvements are part of the larger Circle Forest project, an effort to clean up and restore native wildlife to twelve vacant lots in Detroit.

Detroit, MI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To give older adults a space where they can interact with local children, Eden Gardens Block Club converted two vacant lots into an intergenerational playground. Ahead of the project, the Edens Garden surveyed residents about their preferences, with 80 percent of respondents asking for exercise equipment for older adults. Volunteers then worked to clear the site and install playground apparatuses, including swings, a see-saw bouncer and a cardio walker. Organizers say the space is now a source of community pride for the community.

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