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Statesville, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: When Iredell County received a donation of an eight-acre parcel of land, they saw an opportunity to provide physical fitness options in a neighborhood that lacked recreational amenities. As part of efforts to create East Iredell Lions Club Community Park, this project created a half-mile walking path onsite. Organizers hope to extend the trail in the future. Additionally, the path represents the first step toward constructing a new community center, which will address health disparities by giving residents access to exercise equipment.

Bronx, NY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: To highlight the importance of green spaces, Friends of Mosholu Parkland cleaned up a neglected area of the parkland. The area lies along the Mosholu Parkway, a landscaped highway connecting two parks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the gardens became a respite for community looking for a safe, outdoor gathering space. Volunteers expanded an azalea garden and revived the Jerome Garden Plaza. In addition, the organization worked with a local artist to design and install banners celebrating the Parkland. The banners played off the metaphor of an aquarium, which represented residents confined within their apartments during the COVID-19 pandemic, separated from the parkland below like fish behind a glass barrier. Project organizers say these initial improvements have since attracted additional investment in the Mosholu Parkland.

Kingwood, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Although this project originally set out to expand social activities at Decker's Creek Park, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to pivot. Instead, the Preston County Parks and Recreation Commission made improvements to the park's green space to increase walkability and accessibility for park visitors. They added an accessible picnic table, raised garden beds, trash cans, an information kiosk and a wooden sign for the park. They also planted the garden beds with pollinator-friendly perennials, with plans to invite the local Master Gardeners to use the plots in the future. In addition, the Parks and Recreation Commission painted and replaced boards on the park's pedestrian bridge. Since these upgrades, the Commission reports more visitors to the park, as well as an uptick in youth volunteer service. Recent projects include a new picnic table, outdoor classroom, little free library and bench.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Long Beach, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Transportation Systems Change

Description: This program will provide rides for adults aged 55 and older who lack other means of transportation to essential services needed for their health and well-being.

Long Beach, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: During Walk Long Beach's inaugural Ranchos Walk -- a 9.4-mile hike -- more than 400 walkers laced up their shoes and strode along the city's high ridge. Event organizers set up temporary wayfinding signs and made improvements to a crosswalk to make it more visible. Meant to raise awareness about the benefits of walking for fitness and recreation, the event introduced participants to streets and neighborhoods that many had never seen before. Stretching from Rancho Los Alamitos in the southeast to Rancho Los Cerritos in the north, the walk's route showcased Long Beach's agricultural history: The area's two original ranchos date to the 1800s. Organizers initially anticipated half as many walkers to participate, but residents of all ages flocked to the challenge. In 2021, Walk Long Beach repeated the event with the theme of women in Long Beach history.

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