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San Francisco, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: When the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden opened in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood in 2014, it focused on serving Asian immigrant elders and filled a need for green space and fresh food. This project expanded the garden, adding 3,000 square feet of gardening space and making it the second largest urban farm in San Francisco. The additional space allowed gardeners to try new techniques -- such as row planting -- that increased the garden's yields. Additionally, organizers upgraded the garden's compost system and set up beehives to help with pollinating crops. The larger harvest allowed garden organizers to distribute four tons of produce annually to local families in needs, including culturally relevant foods such as bok choy and Chinese chives.

Beverly, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The Blooming in Beverly project installed raised garden beds in older adults' front yards. Beverly Main Streets matched 50 older adults with families with young children, who built and delivered the beds, then planted flowers and vegetables in them. Project organizers hoped to foster intergenerational relationships, helping combat social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative allowed young children to make a new friend as they helped with weekly watering. Older adult participants reported they were grateful to be around children, since many had not seen their own grandchildren since the pandemic began. The intergenerational pairings also allowed older adults to reap the benefits of gardening while avoiding hard, physical exertion.

Grand Rapids, MI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: This project will create an accessible community greenhouse, designed by graduate architecture students in collaboration with low-income older adults, to extend the growing season at a community garden.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Sioux Falls, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Bikeability

Description: A community health assessment showed Sioux Falls residents wanted better bike amenities to help them keep physically active. To support bikeability, the City installed benches and bike maintenance stations along a popular bike route. Additionally, the City installed two electric wheelchair charging stations at public library branches that sit along the bike path, allowing people of all ages and abilities to use it. If individuals have more opportunities to get on a bike and know there are amenities on the trail to make their ride more comfortable, they will likely increase their regular activity levels using a bike for recreation and for commuting, project leader Mary Michaels said. Organizers say the project also raised awareness about safety on the trail, as well as the community's accessibility needs.

Sioux Falls, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The City of Sioux Falls hoped to encourage residents to consider active transportation -- walking and biking -- as a way to get around. To do this, the City created a quick-build infrastructure kit, which it used to install a temporary protected bike lane at one location and a curb bump-out at another. The bump out -- a safe extension of the sidewalk into the street -- makes pedestrians more visible to drivers and shortens the distance needed to cross the street. City planners gathered feedback from cyclists in the community, who suggested possible future locations for protected bike lanes. Because the infrastructure kit is mobile, the City hopes to deploy it elsewhere in the future.

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