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Eldridge, AL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: In a rural area with few safe, comfortable outdoor recreation areas, this project will create a community space with a walking trail, picnic area and intergenerational playground equipment, so residents can socialize and engage in healthy physical activity.

Trenton, NJ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Bikeability

Description: The Trenton Health Team wanted to encourage older residents to take up cycling by increasing the community's access to bikes. The organization launched its bike share program, which they geared toward older residents. They obtained 20 bikes, three adult tricycles and a two hand-powered cycles. Then they piloted the bikeshare during Trenton's annual open streets festival. In 2022, the East Trenton Collective offered up a carriage house on its property as a community bike hub for trainings, events, repairs, storage and lending. To spruce up the site, the Trenton Health Team commissioned a fence made of recycled bike parts and artistic bike racks, as well as signage designed by a local artist. The bikeshare is now permanent, with plans to lend out bikes at the community's senior center.

Ponce, PR

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Ponce -- Puerto Rico's second largest city -- is recovering after two hurricanes and several earthquakes damaged its downtown, leaving many families homeless. As part of reconstruction efforts, City leaders are focusing on bolstering community arts and activating public spaces. To make the downtown core more inviting, the City improved a walkway that connects the Plaza del Mercado Isabel II with the local marketplace. To prepare the site, City staff made infrastructure upgrades and revamped landscaping. They then added tables and benches to the site, allowing visitors to gather to enjoy live music, play board games and exercise. The City also installed a platform where artisans can display their work.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Providence, RI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: Amos House, which serves unhoused and unemployed people and those living in poverty, developed a volunteer-managed garden to provide fresh ingredients for the organization's soup kitchen. Amos House installed four raised garden beds and two containers for growing herbs. The organization relied on labor from participants in its carpentry program and planted seeds donated by a local farm. Following construction of the 900-square-foot garden, Amos House recruited 20 volunteers age 50 and older to tend the garden. In the summer of 2019, the garden yielded produce valued at 6,500, which they used to prepare 15,000 meals. Residents of Amos House's shelter programs participate in gardening and harvesting, which project organizers say represented an important social activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Providence, RI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Accessibility of amenities

Description: The lawn outside the Knight Memorial Library became a community hub during the COVID-19 pandemic, when community activities moved outdoors. The lawn, however, was not accessible to people using wheelchairs, parents pushing strollers or residents with mobility challenges. The Providence Community Library modified the lawn's entrances and installed an ADA-compliant concrete ramp to connect the space with sidewalks and the nearby parking lot. To make the space more appealing, they also hung a welcome banner, planted flower gardens and added tables, seating and lawn games to the space. Project organizers report the improvements have allowed more people to enjoy community activities, including the neighborhood's weekly farmers market.

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