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See More Grantees Like This One

Bethel, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Trails

Description: Many amenities in Bethel are only accessible by car. To encourage active transportation instead, the Town created a path for walking, biking and cross-country skiing. The multiuse trail runs from the town's elementary school to the town's new outdoor recreation area. Organizers hope the new path helps residents reach several upgraded recreational facilities nearby, including a new pool house and skate park. Spurred by the pathway's popularity, the Town is exploring ways to construct connector pathways to expand the trail network. By encouraging people to walk, organizers say the multiuse path will support Bethels economy, connecting pedestrians to local businesses.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Washington County, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Community Health and Economic Empowerment

Description: To help homebound older adults engage in the visual arts, the Central Vermont Council on Aging delivered creative care kits to residents of Washington, Orange and Lamoille counties. The kits contained art supplies and instructions. For example, one included paper, watercolor paints and a guide to making color choices. Volunteers also checked in on kit recipients, with many participants joining video calls to share their creative work. In 2022, the Council on Aging launched a second year of the initiative, and provided tablets, internet access and tech support to older adults taking part. The program's popularity led to partnerships with the Vermont Arts Council and Meals on Wheels to provide kits to more people.

Middlebury, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: To make Middlebury's downtown more vibrant, Find Your Wings launched a public art initiative to increase community engagement. The organization engaged local artists who worked with residents to create eight sets of wings. To include as many community members as possible, they distributed art kits to homebound residents, schools and senior living facilities, who sent their creations back to the artists. Each set of wings is unique -- one consists of painted plywood feathers, another parrots a monarch butterfly's wings, while a third turns random household objects into musical instruments for passersby to strike. Installed throughout downtown, the installations invite pedestrians to pose and snap selfies. Project organizers say the placemaking effort is meant to foster a sense of belonging and boost the local economy.

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