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North Yarmouth, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Emergency preparedness skills

Description: To ensure first responders can help in a fire or other emergency, North Yarmouth Fire and Rescue installed Knox Home Boxes at the homes of older adults and people with disabilities. The key safes allow firefighters and other first responders to enter homes with a key or code, without needing to damage a house's doors or windows. The boxes are set up to prevent others from accessing the key, making them secure. Project organizers report residents who originally received temporary equipment have since requested permanent installation. The Knox Box initiative remains in place today in North Yarmouth.

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Springfield, MO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: In the 1980s, many businesses moved out of Springfield's downtown. But in recent years, a new generation of entrepreneurs, artists and gig workers have begun repopulating the city's main commercial district. In light of the area's new vibrancy, the Commercial Street Community Improvement District is working to market the area and tell its story. The CID created a series of parklets with outdoor seating to give visitors a space to socialize and relax. They also commissioned a local artist to create a mural, using community feedback to inform the final design. The mural fits within a larger street art project. CID organizers say they hope these improvements will help the community develop a renewed sense of place.


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