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Williamston, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To create a downtown community space, the Martin County Chamber of Commerce transformed an empty lot by building a covered stage. The Chamber also added seating, allowing the space to accommodate local events. In addition, they added raised garden beds nearby, installing them at different heights to accommodate, children, older adults and people who use wheelchairs. Since its installation, the stage has hosted a variety of events and performances, including a local theater group's performance of excerpts from The Sound of Music, a karaoke night and a town Christmas celebration. Organizers say they hope the project sparks business investment and revitalization in Williamston's downtown.

Shawnee, OK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: For years, officials in the City of Shawnee heard complaints from residents of the historic Jefferson Terrace neighborhood about vehicles speeding and running the four-way stop sign at an intersection. To reduce vehicle speeds and increase pedestrian safety, the City replaced the ignored stop signs with a mini traffic circle, the first of its kind in Shawnee. The City collected data traffic speeds and volume before and after the circle's installation, which proved that although traffic counts remained the same, vehicular speeds slowed down. The success of the project has inspired Shawnee officials to consider similar traffic calming interventions at other locations.

Closter, NJ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project set out to connect a parking area with a lively commercial street. To do this, organizers transformed an underused alley into a pocket park. They outfitted the space with benches and landscaping. The space helps commuters and shoppers travel through Closter's downtown and doubles as a community gathering space.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Miami, FL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Addressing community health

Description: This project expanded Miami's Walk4Life club into the city's downtown. It installed two digital message boards to highlight members' accomplishments, offer health tips and promote wellness events.

Miami, FL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public or private transit access

Description: Through the My Transit My Cityprogram, this project offered lessons and support to older adults and people with disabilities about how to use the county's redesigned bus system.

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