Click here to learn about the 2024 AARP Community Challenge — and apply by March 6, 2024.

See More Grantees Like This One

Gulfport, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The City of Gulfport hoped to create a venue for educational programming, giving residents the opportunity to learn in nature. To do this, they installed a pavilion to be used as an outdoor classroom. The space serves local schools, as well as members of the wider community. Since installation, the City has worked to complete a nature trail system onsite.

Jackson, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The City of Jackson set out to demonstrate the value of vibrant public spaces. This project was part of larger open streets efforts, which close streets to vehicle traffic residents to gather, walk and play there. First, the City created a parklet on Congress Street in St. Paul's downtown. The temporary mini-park fit in the footprint of an on-street parking space. The City outfitted the space with outdoor furniture, allowing residents to relax and socialize. Organizers say the parklet also drove business to local restaurants, providing outdoor dining space for customers. To gauge residents' reaction to the space, the City conducted a survey during the pop-up. The City has since worked to develop guidelines for parklet creation, allowing local businesses to set up their own outdoor spaces.

Jackson, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Part of wider efforts to beautify the South Jackson neighborhood, this project activated several vacant lots, turning them into community gardens, creative market spaces and pocket parks. The revitalization initiative also added seating and landscaping at a bus stop, painted a mural and made repairs to housing subdivision entrances. Community members volunteered to help with the efforts. In recent years, South Jackson has struggled with business closures and vacant housing. In a letter to the community, Coalition Executive Director Bennie Hudson wrote, We must do something about this for ourselves as elders and adults, but even more for our children and youth. In the future, project organizers hope to set up a homeowners association for the neighborhood to support ongoing maintenance and future improvements.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Starkville, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Community-based organization Keep Starkville Beautiful updated a busy transportation corridor to calm traffic, increase safety and make the area more pleasant. The organization repaired a crumbling retaining wall and added built-in planters and pollinator patch gardens. A local artist created a colorful pavement pattern in the intersection of Whitfield and Scales Streets. Keep Starkville Beautiful also made improvements to a bus stop, installing a new ADA-compliant seating and waiting area and adding an arbor framed by planters to provide shade. Local residents provided much of the labor for the upgrades during community work days.

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AARP Mississippi State Office

141 Township Avenue
Suite 302
Ridgeland, MS 39157
United States

Phone: 866-554-5382
Fax: 601-898-5429
Email: [email protected]