See More Projects Like This One

Lynchburg, VA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To organizers with the Downtown Lynchburg Association, an underused, dead-end street had potential to draw visitors downtown. The Association transformed the space into Art Alley -- a vibrant, outdoor art gallery. To activate the space, volunteers covered the pavement in turquoise, orange, pink and green paint. They also set up string lights overhead to provide illumination. Finally, they created the Spark Joy Gallery by installing panels that display digital artworks. Project organizers say the placemaking effort has since inspired nearby property owners to spruce up their building facades, and the Art Alley has become a must-see for tourists passing through town.

Wolcott, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The Town of Wolcott lacked greenspace for community members to enjoy, so the Town transformed an unused space behind the local library into a new park. Dubbed Depot Park, the space includes a community garden with raised beds, as well as a public trailhead. To draw people in, volunteers installed outdoor games, solar-powered lighting, seating and free Wi-Fi access. Organizers wanted to make the park a year-round amenity, so they included a patio heater and bonfire. Additionally, the local fire department created a temporary ice-skating rink onsite. After completing the activation, the Town hosted its first community event in decades at Depot Park. Today, the library holds children's reading circles there. Plus, community members can harvest vegetables for free from the garden.

Palmer Township, PA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The project will turn an open space adjacent to the public library into a community gathering area with benches, a sculpture and a garden paying tribute to Native American culture.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Buffalo, NY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Engaging residents in vibrant public places

Description: This project created monthly Jazz Night the Community Center, which provided access to cultural activities and encouraged multigenerational interaction.

Buffalo, NY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Innovative home maintenance, repair and support services

Description: To help low-income families rehabilitate their homes, Habitat for Humanity Buffalo held a series of construction skills trainings. Designed to reach people without a background in construction, the workshops focused on plumbing and electrical work. Project organizers say these education efforts ensure individuals are empowered to undertake critical home repairs. Additionally, the nonprofit wanted to help its volunteers understand the communities they serve. To do this, the organization hosted training sessions on topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Organizers report the sessions informed Home Team volunteers about the history of low-income communities and reinforced the importance of Habitat's mission to construct affordable housing.

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