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

See More Grantees Like This One

Philadelphia, PA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The Viola Street Community Garden has served the East Parkside neighborhood for half a century. But the garden faced challenges related to soil quality water access -- gardeners had to haul in water barrels from a fire hydrant down the block. And because the City owned the garden property, its future was uncertain. After Neighborhood Gardens Trust assumed ownership, they wanted to improve the space. The organization built raised beds, brought in fresh soil and installed a new irrigation system. Volunteers also laid down ADA-accessible pathways to accommodate gardeners of all ages and abilities. New fencing, as well as a picnic table and shade umbrella, made the space welcoming. Since the upgrades, the Trust has added new parcels to the garden's footprint. Organizers say the garden helps ensure food access for West Philadelphia families, helping heal disparities resulting from systemic racism and disinvestment.

Philadelphia, PA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: Philadelphia's Hunter Park neighborhood is considered a food desert. The Food Trust's community orchard, garden and farmer's market give local families a way to access fresh fruits and vegetables. To raise awareness, Food Trust workers handed out fliers and put up banners directing residents to the market. They also put on a fall festival, which featured a series of walking tours of the gardening facilities, which are located within a neighborhood park. Volunteers distributed coupons to attendees, allowing them to purchase fruits and vegetables grown onsite. Additionally, the Food Trust provided tour participants with garden kits and encouraged them to join the volunteer-led community garden. Since the publicity efforts, project organizers report a boost in garden membership.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Philadelphia, PA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha completed streetscaping along an important corridor of Germantown Avenue in North Philadelphia. Small-scale, low-cost -- but high-impact -- improvements began with street cleaning. Volunteers then worked to add elements to offset pedestrians from traffic and slow down passing vehicles. They installed decorative fences, signs at pedestrian crossings, flexible bollards, sidewalk art and temporary island installations. The project was part of a larger effort to revive what was once a vibrant, central commercial corridor and residents reacted positively. One said, It makes it look like people actually live here, like they do Another added, This makes it easier for children to know where they can safely cross. Organizers are seeking to make the island installations permanent. Additionally, the City committed to restriping the street and continue cleanup efforts, while community members plan to replicate beautification elements on nearby vacant lots.

Philadelphia, PA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public spaces improvements to increase high-speed internet availability

Description: To help older adults access the internet, the Center in the Park created a cafe onsite, which offers free Wi-Fi access to visitors.

LEARN MORE AND STAY INFORMED

Find articles and resources about making communities more livable for people of all ages

people icon

Download or order free publications from AARP Livable Communities

download icon

Sign up for the free, weekly, award-winning AARP Livable Communities eNewsletter

mail icon

Don't see your community listed?

LEARN HOW IT CAN JOIN THE NETWORK

Connect with your AARP State Office

AARP has offices in all 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

AARP Pennsylvania State Office

30 North 3rd Street
Suite 920
Harrisburg, PA 17101
United States

Phone: 866-389-5654
Fax: 717-236-4078
Email: [email protected]