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Anchorage, AK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Engaging people in transportation options/safety

Description: Alaska Trails worked with Bike Anchorage to shape sustainable transportation in Anchorage. The two organizations educated residents about the city's Non-Motorized Transportation Plan, an effort to integrate bike, pedestrian and train networks into a multi-modal system. They also informed residents about Anchorage's Complete Streets policy, which aims to remake city streets to safely accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers and bus riders of all ages and abilities. In addition, Alaska Trails supported Safe Routes to School, an initiative that promotes walking and bicycling to school. This outreach effort included social media posts, print and television news coverage and a newsletter. Alaska Trails continues to work to encourage locals to use the state's trails and each year Bike Anchorage holds a Winter Bike Fest to promote cycling in the city.

Salt Lake City, UT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Engaging people in transportation options/safety

Description: The Transit Together initiative invited residents at two low-income, older adult communities to use public transit to get to the grocery store. Over the course of three weeks, project organizers assisted groups of older adults -- including those with mobility issues -- as they navigated the Trax light rail system's routes and fare collection system. To help them run errands via transit, the County Aging and Adult Services office offered each participant a grocery caddy and a monthly senior transit pass. At the end of the program, 22 out of 32 participants reported they would use public transit in the future. In addition, several volunteer-resident pairs planned to continue making grocery trips together. Project organizers report that other service providers throughout Utah have since reached out to find out how they can implement similar educational programs in their communities.

Bridgeport, CT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Engaging people in transportation options/safety

Description: To create community cohesion and connection, Groundwork Bridgeport's walking club hosted three intergenerational walking events in Bridgeport's downtown and along its waterfront. Using the AARP Walk Audit Tool Kit as a guide, participants helped identify important community destinations, as well as ways to improve the pedestrian experience. They also collected litter as they walked. Before each walk, volunteers placed temporary wayfinding stickers on the sidewalks to help the group navigate. Project organizers say the initiative's popularity demonstrated an appetite for walking activities and pedestrian paths in Bridgeport. Today, the organization continues to host its walking club, which meets every Saturday.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Providence, RI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: Amos House, which serves unhoused and unemployed people and those living in poverty, developed a volunteer-managed garden to provide fresh ingredients for the organization's soup kitchen. Amos House installed four raised garden beds and two containers for growing herbs. The organization relied on labor from participants in its carpentry program and planted seeds donated by a local farm. Following construction of the 900-square-foot garden, Amos House recruited 20 volunteers age 50 and older to tend the garden. In the summer of 2019, the garden yielded produce valued at 6,500, which they used to prepare 15,000 meals. Residents of Amos House's shelter programs participate in gardening and harvesting, which project organizers say represented an important social activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Providence, RI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Digital navigation skills

Description: This project will purchase laptops that older residents can use to learn about technology and the internet. It will also provide residents with support and instruction.

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