See More Projects Like This One

Castleton-on-Hudson, NY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The Village of Castleton-on-Hudson regularly hosts a Repair Cafe event, where volunteers repaired any item brought to them, if possible. One problem: the event takes place on the second floor of a Village Hall, which has no elevator. This posed an accessibility issue -- locals often complained about climbing the building's difficult staircase. To solve this, the Village moved its Repair Cafe to Noyes Engine House. They also worked to activate a vacant lot next door, installing a community bulletin board, benches and planters onsite. The improvements support wider efforts to revitalize the village's downtown, with the goal of drawing more people to the central business district.

Lemmon, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Staff at the Lemmon Public Library saw a need to reduce social isolation in town, particularly among older residents. To address this, they set out to improve the library's public gathering space. Project organizers created a new bakery cafe, purchasing folding tables with stacking chairs, an acrylic pastry cabinet, a cake cover and cupcake display, tablecloths and pump pots for coffee. Since the cafe's opening, the library has used new tables and chairs at hundreds of events and the space has accommodated pop-up shops. The opportunity to bake for the cafe led some residents to launch their own baking businesses and one retired baker was inspired to plan a workshop for women starting businesses. Sparked by the success of the cafe, library staff have since pursued other opportunities to expand community space, including providing library patrons with an outdoor area for reading and gathering.

Rapid City, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project will install ADA-compliant park benches, designed and built by students, at a farmers market and city park.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Malvern, AR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: To improve pedestrian visibility and safety, the Malvern-Hot Spring County Library created a colorful crosswalk. Project organizers report the crosswalk has visibly slowed down approaching traffic. A local group -- the Ouachita River Art Guild -- designed and painted the crosswalk with a floral design. Library also worked with local master gardeners to create a pollinator garden and added a story trail. The trail includes sign posts displaying pages from a children's storybook, which can be rotated out as needed to provide visitors with new reading material.

Hot Springs, AR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project activated a space along Malvern Avenue, allowing visitors to enjoy a new mural paying tribute to cultural history. To showcase the mural, the City added a new sidewalk, greenery, iron sculptures and a music-themed bench nearby. The work was among the first reinvestments in an area that was known from the 1930s to 1960s as Black Broadway -- home to entertainment venues which hosted performances by legendary musicians, including Count Basie, Duke Ellington and B.B. King. Since its completion, the space -- which the City named Henry Glover Place -- has helped spark further revitalization. The City undertook four other neighborhood improvement projects nearby, including upgrades to a parking lot, new landscaping and building restorations. The City plans to make additional streetscape improvements in the future.

LEARN MORE AND STAY INFORMED

Find articles and resources about making communities more livable for people of all ages

people icon

Download or order free publications from AARP Livable Communities

download icon

Sign up for the free, weekly, award-winning AARP Livable Communities eNewsletter

mail icon

Don't see your community listed?

LEARN HOW IT CAN JOIN THE NETWORK

Connect with your AARP State Office

AARP has offices in all 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

AARP Arkansas State Office

1701 Centerview Drive
Suite 205
Little Rock, AR 72211
United States

Phone: 866-554-5379
Fax: 501-227-7710
Email: [email protected]