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

See More Grantees Like This One

Rapid City, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project will install ADA-compliant park benches, designed and built by students, at a farmers market and city park.

Lemmon, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Staff at the Lemmon Public Library saw a need to reduce social isolation in town, particularly among older residents. To address this, they set out to improve the library's public gathering space. Project organizers created a new bakery cafe, purchasing folding tables with stacking chairs, an acrylic pastry cabinet, a cake cover and cupcake display, tablecloths and pump pots for coffee. Since the cafe's opening, the library has used new tables and chairs at hundreds of events and the space has accommodated pop-up shops. The opportunity to bake for the cafe led some residents to launch their own baking businesses and one retired baker was inspired to plan a workshop for women starting businesses. Sparked by the success of the cafe, library staff have since pursued other opportunities to expand community space, including providing library patrons with an outdoor area for reading and gathering.

Rapid City, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To increase awareness of the local book club and other community activities, NeighborWorks designed and installed 30 flags in the North Rapid neighborhood. A local artists created designs for the flags and residents worked together to approve wording for each one. Volunteers then installed flags on utility poles throughout the neighborhood. Project organizers say that since the flags appeared, local groups have received inquiries about how to become more involved in local activities.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Pine Ridge, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Addressing community health

Description: To increase tribal elders' access to locally-grown food, this project will host a weekly farmers market featuring traditional foods that students will grow, harvest and prepare.

Pine Ridge, SD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Inclusive public space improvements

Description: The Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation created an accessible, multigenerational playground at its Regenerative Community Development. Ahead of construction the organization held engagement sessions to get input from community members. Organizers wanted to ensure the playground's design was rooted in the Lakota way of life and elements of the site symbolize different teachings and traditions. For example, the facility's shape emulates the He Sapa, of Black Hills -- the heart at the center of everything. Play structures at the site represent elements of the Lakota creation story. With its grand funding, the Corporation installed a sidewalk and benches, including a semicircular bench to serve as a storytelling area. The Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation works to improve the lives of residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation, with its Regenerative Community Development focusing on providing culturally appropriate physical spaces for liberation and healing.

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