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River Falls, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The grant will fund safety improvements at a major intersection and demonstrate traffic calming interventions such as high-visibility crosswalk markings and an auditory response system.

Charleston, SC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The West Ashley Greenway in Charleston is an eight-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail, which is popular with walkers, runners and cyclists. However, the greenway crosses several busy streets, leading to accidents between vehicles and pedestrians. To fix this, a team of volunteers created three artistic crosswalk murals, designed to calm traffic. They also installed signage which reminds drivers to look out for people crossing the roadway. Community members need to be able to get access to places without driving, and to feel safe when they're walking and biking, project director Katie Zimmerman said. Doing this even in small ways will get more people active and out of their cars.

Fort Wayne, IN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: This project will install curb cuts and signage to improve the community's access to a prairie, a pond and paths on the campus of Stillwater Hospice, a place of comfort and healing.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Chicago, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To promote walkability, economic development and better quality of life for residents, the Chicago Department of Transportation created a replicable prototype for a People Spot. Consisting of a wooden platform, the People Spots transform on-street parking spaces into outdoor patios. To help neighborhood groups set up their own People Spots, the City published construction plans and an assembly manual for the parklets online. Part of the City's Livable Streets Program, organizers say the temporary infrastructure helps neighborhoods overcome economic hardship by encouraging residents to walk and frequent local businesses. The City installed its first People Spot in the South Side Chatham neighborhood in 2018. That iteration measured about six feet wide by 20 feet long, but the platforms can be as long as 80 feet.

Chicago, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The El Paseo Community Garden in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood added a new gathering space, dubbed El Convivio or The Gathering. The goal of the project was to make the garden more accessible to Latino older adults living in nearby apartment buildings. Improvements to the space include an outdoor kitchen and patio with a fire pit, ADA-compliant seating, walking paths and an accessible planting station. Planters at the site were specifically designed to grow culturally relevant produce, including tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions. The picnic area's stucco and ceramic tiles mimic designs seen in Mexican haciendas. Garden leaders partnered with nonprofit architectural firm Human Scale to involve garden members in the space's design and volunteers from the neighborhood installed the new amenities. As El Paseo's leadership finalized El Convivio, they also worked with the City of Chicago to secured additional land to expand the garden.

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