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Baltimore, MD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project helped activate an alleyway by creating an Outdoor Community Library and installed an artistic metal gate to secure it. The Urban Oasis uses the space to host story times with older adults reading to local students.

Roundup, MT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The large public space in the Roundup's downtown lacked accessible seating. As part of its historic preservation and economic development work, Roundup Community Partners added picnic tables and benches to the plaza. The new seating is designed to be accessible for visitors of all ages and abilities. The plaza sits on the town's Main Street and project organizers hope the seating helps incentivize residents and visitors to shop and eat downtown.

Lynn, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The PATIO Parklet program involved installing three modular, portable parklets in downtown Lynn. Parklets transform curbside parking spaces into vibrant community spaces. The ones in Lynn include tables and seating, greenery and public art. Since installing the parklets, Lynn has seen improved street safety, increased foot traffic, more social interactions among residents and new, culturally relevant programming downtown. The parklets have hosted musical performances, sidewalk sales and the Living Room Series -- facilitated bilingual conversations on important local topics. One installation of the Living Room Series gave residents the chance to meet with school committee and city council candidates. Project organizers say the parklet initiative also helped Beyond Walls to deepen its relationship with partner organizations, including Greater Lynn Senior Services and the Lynn Council on Aging.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Wilton, NH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Trails

Description: The Town of Wilton built ADA-compliant walkways along the bank of Souhegan River. The walkways connect restaurants and a veterans park to Wilton's downtown core. Part of planned improvements to the Wilton Riverwalk, the new walkways transformed a preexisting walking path into downtown's first accessible pedestrian route. After the Town secured funding for the improvements, a local telecom company donated an easement for the project. Organizers say Wilton is working to boost its local economy and position itself as a place where people can come to enjoy shopping, ecotourism and cultural events. Part of that effort is remaking the downtown into a walkable environment that caters to pedestrians instead of cars. Since then, the Town has continued revitalization efforts, and recently added a downtown marketplace for local artists and musicians.

Goffstown, NH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Improved wayfinding

Description: The five-and-a-half mile Goffstown Rail Trail connects the town's three commercial areas. To help trail users navigate, Friends of the Goffstown Rail Trail erected new signs with information about nearby businesses and facilities, as well as tidbits of Goffstown history. Since installation, business owners along the trail have reported more visitors in their shops. And as Goffstown plans for a future trail expansion, the signs have helped build community buy-in and attract donations to fund that project.

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