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

See More Grantees Like This One

Charleston, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: To make its underused East End Community Park more inviting, the City of Charleston added a splash pad, playground equipment and new greenery. First, the City held a community clean up day, where volunteers helped prepare the site. Then the City installed new equipment, including a swing set, two ski walker gliders and a water umbrella for the splash pad. The City also planted trees to shade the park's walking path and improve its overall appearance. In addition, they added lighting to improve park safety by illuminating the walking path, the community garden and other areas. Since these changes, project organizers report more families are using the park and neighbors are chipping in to keep the area free of litter.

Mannington, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: This project will install outdoor fitness equipment at two different locations along a walking trail to provide older adults with an opportunity to get exercise in the outdoors.

Kingwood, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Although this project originally set out to expand social activities at Decker's Creek Park, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to pivot. Instead, the Preston County Parks and Recreation Commission made improvements to the park's green space to increase walkability and accessibility for park visitors. They added an accessible picnic table, raised garden beds, trash cans, an information kiosk and a wooden sign for the park. They also planted the garden beds with pollinator-friendly perennials, with plans to invite the local Master Gardeners to use the plots in the future. In addition, the Parks and Recreation Commission painted and replaced boards on the park's pedestrian bridge. Since these upgrades, the Commission reports more visitors to the park, as well as an uptick in youth volunteer service. Recent projects include a new picnic table, outdoor classroom, little free library and bench.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Hinton, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Hinton's historic district was created in the 1980s, but public interest for the district had waned over the years. To foster community pride and educate residents, the local Historic Landmarks Commission purchased and installed plaques on significant buildings in Hinton's historic district. The plaques provide information about the significance of each location. To further draw people in, the commission established a walking tour, which it promoted online and by printing and distributing brochures. Because tourism is an important local economic driver, so the commission has coordinated with the local visitors center to promote the tour.

Ronceverte, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To give residents an outdoor space to gather, this project set out to create a pocket park in downtown Ronceverte. Organizers poured topsoil to level out the site and added benches and raised flower beds. A mural is also planned for the site.

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AARP West Virginia State Office

300 Summers Street
Suite 400
Charleston, WV 25301
United States

Phone: 866-227-7458
Fax: 304-344-4633
Email: [email protected]