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Appleton, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To give residents more spaces to gather and socialize, Creative Downtown Appleton created a parklet. Volunteers repurposed two on-street parking spaces to create the mini-park, which they outfitted with seating, tables and LED lighting. To make the space accessible to wheelchair users and parents with strollers, organizers installed a ramp. Additionally, they installed bike racks nearby. Visitors to the parklet are welcome to pick herbs for free, which Creative Downtown Appleton planted onsite. Project organizers say the space supports nearby businesses -- the parklet offers people an outdoor seating option so they can enjoy coffee or meals purchased locally.

Detroit, MI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To give older adults a space where they can interact with local children, Eden Gardens Block Club converted two vacant lots into an intergenerational playground. Ahead of the project, the Edens Garden surveyed residents about their preferences, with 80 percent of respondents asking for exercise equipment for older adults. Volunteers then worked to clear the site and install playground apparatuses, including swings, a see-saw bouncer and a cardio walker. Organizers say the space is now a source of community pride for the community.

Oakland, MS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project will improve the area around a senior center by adding a decorative mural, building a pickleball court and adding a pocket park with benches and raised flower beds.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

San Francisco, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: When the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden opened in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood in 2014, it focused on serving Asian immigrant elders and filled a need for green space and fresh food. This project expanded the garden, adding 3,000 square feet of gardening space and making it the second largest urban farm in San Francisco. The additional space allowed gardeners to try new techniques -- such as row planting -- that increased the garden's yields. Additionally, organizers upgraded the garden's compost system and set up beehives to help with pollinating crops. The larger harvest allowed garden organizers to distribute four tons of produce annually to local families in needs, including culturally relevant foods such as bok choy and Chinese chives.

San Francisco, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Digital navigation skills

Description: This project staged pop-up events offering free, multilingual tech support to older adults in four underserved neighborhoods.

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