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Dayton, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: CityWide transformed a vacant lot into a new, more inviting entrance to Welcome Park in Dayton's Carillon neighborhood. The organization cleared overgrowth and dead trees from the site, replaced fencing and installed new informational signs. To give visitors a spot to rest, they placed benches along the park's walking path. CityWide also widened the entrance to conform to Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility standards. Throughout the project, CityWide gathered feedback and ideas from residents. A community-led branding effort informed the design of the park's new sign, as well as a dedication plaque honoring a local advocate. Project organizers say they hope this project serves as a model for meaningful community engagement as the community plans for future park improvements.

Fort Wayne, IN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Bridge of Grace Ministries set out to make the underserved Mount Vernon Park neighborhood safe, walkable and accessible for all. Their effort included physical improvements, including updated landscaping, new porch swings and banners promoting their work. They also conducted a storytelling project, inviting Mount Vernon Park residents to gather and share their personal histories and experiences. Volunteers videotaped the event and featured the stories on YouTube. Participants in the storytelling events reported a profound sense of connection with neighbors and the community.

Mission, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: The Rosebud Reservation's Kimmel Park had a bad reputation in the community, and the site badly needed maintenance. To give the space new life, the City of Mission partnered with local tribal locations to update park amenities. They installed a new playground with accessibility features, including ADA-complaint picnic tables, rubber mulch, benches and a ramp. Organizers say they hope the park becomes a welcoming space for tribal elders to visit with their grandchildren. Today, members of the community chip in to keep the park clean. And the City plans to continue making upgrades to Kimmel Park, including reopening a closed swimming pool.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Austin, TX

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Walkability

Description: This project will engage older adult volunteers to conduct two walk audits in high-traffic zones located near grocery stores in Central and South Austin.

San Antonio, TX

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: To encourage residents to live an active lifestyle, this project added outdoor exercise equipment along a walking trail in Palomino Park. Additionally, the Alamo Colleges Foundation offered free fitness activities, both onsite and virtually.

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