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West Chester, PA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project installed ADA-compliant seating and tables, plus a security camera, to an underused terrace outside the library.

Tallahassee, FL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The Goodwood Museum and Gardens revitalized a historic roller rink, transforming it into a gathering space for outdoor activities. The rink -- originally built in 1916 -- sat vacant for years, but the Museum saw potential for the 10,000-square-foot site. Accessibility was a main goal for project organizers, so the Museum installed an ADA-compliant sidewalk, ramp and handrails. They also added lighting to increase safety at the site, levelled the rink's concrete surface, added landscaping and upgraded electrical wiring. These enhancements attracted community partners to the space, including the Irish Repertory Theater and the Southern Shakespeare Company. Today the site hosts a monthly live performance featuring local musicians, along with other community activities.

Ellsworth, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Ellsworth's once-bustling East End corridor had declined over several decades, with a 60 percent vacancy rate along Broadway Street. The Local Chamber of Commerce hoped to see the neighborhood rise again as a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use area. To promote its vision, the Chamber commissioned six murals celebrating local agricultural history. They also put up light pole banners and window clings with branding for the neighborhood and added benches, bistro tables and hanging planter baskets along Broadway Street. The Chamber then staged a historical walking tour, which garnered local news coverage and spurred the County historical association to consider designating the East End as an official historic district. In conjunction with these placemaking efforts, the Chamber launched a pop-up program for small businesses opening in the East End. Following that initiative, two of the participating decided to operate permanently in the neighborhood.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

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.

Hill City, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: This project installed cisterns to collect rainwater at the church's community garden, increasing the number of plots and, hence, the number food distribution sites it serves. Additionally, the church held workshops on gardening and the use of fresh produce to encourage others to grow their own food.

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