See More Projects Like This One

Bethel, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To provide residents with places to sit and gather, the Bethel Age-Friendly Community partnered with local artists and craftspeople to create benches and picnic tables. As a thank-you to organizations that have supported age-friendly work in the region, organizers gave the seating to partner organizations who assist with age-friendly programming, events and volunteer efforts. The benches and tables now sit in each of the six towns that make up the Bethel region. Each table is adorned with a chess board and each bench features decorations that pay homage to the town where it sits, with volunteers chipping in to paint the furniture. Organizers say they hope the project demonstrates the value of simple public space enhancements.

Conyers, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The grounds of the Conyers-Rockdale Library offer locals an attractive, relaxing place to work remotely and enjoy the area's natural surroundings. Through its Birds, Benches and Blooms project, the library installed brightly colored benches around the grounds, including one on the Olde Town Conyers Trail, a well-traveled bicycle and pedestrian path. Project organizers also installed hand-crafted wooden bird feeders with live stream cameras, allowing residents to watch birds in person and from home. Additionally, the library bought two weather-protected corkboards to display community announcements.

Dixon, NM

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To draw visitors to a park on the grounds of Dixon's local library, the Embudo Valley Library and Community Center installed picnic tables and benches at the site. In 2019, the library distributed a survey and hosted focus groups with residents to determine the community's needs, with seating emerging as a top priority. The community center commissioned local artists and craftspeople to create the tables and benches, which are ADA-compliant. One of the tables is located in the library's fruit orchard, near a traditional irrigation ditch known as an acequia. Project organizers say they chose the location to honor the community's cultural heritage. In the future, Center staff envision putting the benches and tables to use during local events, including the annual Fiesta de Santa Rosa.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Manning, IA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Developing projects based on residents' priorities

Description: Manning City Hall possesses a collection of important historical artifacts, but because of space constraints, most of them were kept in storage in the building's basement. To allow residents to see the items, the City of Manning installed eighteen glass display cases and placed them throughout the community, creating a reverse museum tour. They distributed brochures explaining how a reverse museum helps display artifacts without the cost of building a standalone facility. The leaflets also give information on the artifacts displayed, which range from small trinkets to World War II nurse's uniforms. Project organizers say the displays have inspired residents to explore their own basements and attics in search of more items to donate. The project also sparked the local library to open a designated room -- dubbed the vault -- to host larger exhibits.

Glidden, IA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Trails

Description: Glidden's Northland Park features a mile-long trail system that winds through natural grasslands, a butterfly garden, picnic areas and more. But the park sits across a major roadway from another popular site -- the city's aquatic center. To improve connectivity, City officials set out to create a way to walk from one to the other. They installed more than 600 square feet of additional sidewalk and created a crosswalk across Highway 30, complete with flashing crossing signs to alert drivers of pedestrians.

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