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New Milford, CT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: To create social opportunities for people of all ages, the Town of New Milford added benches and game top tables along the walkway to the Young's Field Park. Town employees installed the tables, which can host chess and checkers games. Project organizers say they hope the tables encourage intergenerational activities in the riverfront park. Today, teens from a New Milford High School after-school club use the table for regular games with players from the New Milford Senior Center.

Washington County, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public or private transit access

Description: An iconic bus shelter known to Mad River Valley locals as The Snail sat unused and had fallen into disrepair. The Yestermorrow Design/Build School stepped in to rescue the structure, replacing rotting siding and roofing, upgrading structural elements and adding accessibility features, such as handrails. After clearing a space on School grounds, volunteers then moved The Snail four miles down the road. They also planted native vegetation around The Snail. Following these improvements, the spiral-shaped bus shelter is now back in use at a public bus stop.

Tucson, AZ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Community Health and Economic Empowerment

Description: The Southern Arizona Arts Culture Alliance spearheaded a community-wide care package campaign, which provided hospital patients and residents of assisted living communities with creative experiences. The packages included DIY bookmarks and journaling kits, CDs with recordings of local musicians, coloring pages designed by local artists, greeting cards and jewelry making and craft activities. The organization created the packages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which put a pause to onsite arts and crafts activities. The Alliance delivered more than 1,000 packages to individuals receiving care at the partnering communities.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Silver City, NM

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Silver City Maitreet hoped to create a sense of place in Big Ditch Park while improving the pedestrian experience. To do this, the organization created a brightly colored artistic crosswalk designed to make people crossing the street more visible to drivers. The nonprofit also worked with volunteers to create two murals -- one depicting a mountain scene and another serving as a selfie wall. Project organizers report visitors frequently take photos at the selfie wall. They also say other communities have reached out for guidance on how to do their own placemaking projects. Silver City Maitreet has since identified two other streets for future activation.

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