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Acton, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Trails

Description: This project will install accessible benches and parking guidance to make it easier for older adults and people with mobility challenges to enjoy the Goat Hill Trail.

Shawnee Mission, KS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Micromobility enhancements/management

Description: To expand access to cycling, this project expanded the BikeWalkKC bikeshare program. Parks and Recreation Foundation of Johnson County set out to install bikeshare stations in four parks, including a new park located near a residential area with a senior living community. The stations serve four municipalities -- Olathe, Prairie Village, Lenexa, Shawnee and Overland Park. To measure the bikeshare program's popularity, each station uses smart technology to track each bike's location, how frequently it is checked out, the length of each checkout and who used it. Organizers plan to specifically market the service to older adults, who represent a growing share of Johnson County's population.

Burlington, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Developing projects based on residents' priorities

Description: Because many local news sources struggle to stay afloat, educators at the University of Vermont launched an initiative to provide content to local papers and statewide news outlets. The Community News Service hired student journalists from around the state to produce stories on topics related to livable communities, including local investments in parks and public spaces, transportation connectivity and sidewalk expansions. Newspapers could then print those stories for free. The students gained hands-on reporting experience and also took photographs and created videos and podcasts. In addition, CNS organized reporting blitzes, assigning reporters to cover events such as elections, town meetings and a local Green-Up Day. Project organizers say they hope the local coverage helps residents stay informed and become engaged in their local community.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

HI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Addressing community health

Description: At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Robin Bush stayed home, alone except for her cat. Fortunately, Bush and more than 100 additional kupuna (the Hawaiian term for grandparent or elder) found a way to develop intergenerational connections through Purpose Pals. A partnership between Hawaii's Afterschool Alliance, Age-Friendly Honolulu, Blue Zones Hawaii, and AARP, the program has matched more than 100 kupuna with young adults ages 18-24. The pairs socialize during regularly scheduled video and phone calls. The initiative takes personal interests, skills, life stories and experiences into account when making matches. Participants can then talk about anything, from favorite recipes to career advice to current events. We looked for ways to promote social connectedness and, in particular, create a more age-friendly community by fostering friendships across generations, Purpose Pals organizer Christy Nishita said.

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