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Beaver Dam, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The City of Beaver Dam wanted to showcase its downtown Mural Walking Tour. To do this, they added benches along the route, allowing visitors to rest and interact with each other. The walking tour showcases 17 historical murals depicting 19th century business operations and notable Beaver Dam residents, including World War II glider pilot Harold Rief and science fiction author Raymond Z. Gallon. The City installed one six-foot-long, accessible bench near each mural on the walk. Additionally, they distributed mural tour maps to businesses and offices downtown. Project organizers report the seating has contributed to more pedestrian activity in the area. They also say the new benches have inspired private donations to purchase seating for other parts of downtown.

Southport, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The stories of those buried in the John N. Smith Cemetery in Southport have never been shared with the broader community. As the only African American cemetery in the region, the John N Smith Cemetery Restoration and Preservation group created an outdoor museum onsite. The museum teaches residents about the racial and economic discrimination that Black members of that community have faced, as well as contributions residents made to the community. Project organizers designed and installed interpretive signage, as well as benches and a display board for public announcements and other information. Designed to be accessible for people of all ages, the space recounts an important part of Southport's history and culture.

Caldwell, ID

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Organizers with Destination Caldwell think of Indian Creek Plaza like the front porch on a farmhouse -- a place for sitting and chatting with neighbors. The nonprofit hoped to activate the space with interactive outdoor games. They engaged residents to decoupage vintage photographs onto cornhole boards and piece together glass-mosaic tabletop gameboards for chess, checkers and backgammon. This project is part of larger efforts to bring public art to the plaza. Today, the game tables are available throughout the year.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

New Orleans, LA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Bikeability

Description: To improve bikeability in New Orleans' Algiers neighborhood, this project added bike racks, a bicycle repair station and decorative lighting along a three-block section of Kabel Drive, the area's major commercial corridor.

New Orleans, LA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Lifelong housing and accessibility

Description: Part of a larger effort to construct four affordable, ADA-accessible townhouses, this project installed a wheelchair lift in one home.

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