Click here to learn about the 2024 AARP Community Challenge — and apply by March 6, 2024.

See More Grantees Like This One

Alamogordo, NM

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project will beautify alleys that visitors will use to access businesses during an upcoming streetscape construction project on Alamogordo's main street. The grant will repair surfaces, making them safer for walking, and add benches and flowers, shade and LED lighting.

Albuquerque, NM

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The Barelas Community Coalition hoped to create a welcoming, multigenerational gathering space to allow community members to eat, play, and learn together. The organization constructed a shade structure, added a bench, installed solar lighting and displayed signage at a public courtyard. The outdoor area is part of the Las Esquinita complex, an indoor commercial space that includes a small food hall and artisan market. It is also located next to a new food truck park, which the Coalition helps manage. Today, the space serves as a public art venue where resident can communicate their ideas, wants and feelings alongside an existing mural. Project organizers say the project helped secure long-term support for their activation efforts and allowed the community to rally around local revitalization activities.

Farmington, NM

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project activated a breezeway in downtown Farmington. The city-owned space was long unused -- it sits in the footprint of a building that burned to the ground in 1914. But since it conveniently connects a parking lot to the town's Main Street, project organizers saw its potential as a convenient passthrough and gathering space. By installing solar-powered string lights, setting out seating and tables and creating a mural on an adjacent building, the City created a pocket park. The city plans to continue to add to the space, creating more seating out of wood from a beloved blue spruce that died and installing raised planter beds. Organizers say they also envision bringing community activities to the pocket park.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

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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