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Delaware County, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: To give older adult residents of an affordable housing complex a space to gather, SourcePoint and Age-Friendly Delaware County created an accessible community garden. Volunteers installed raised beds to enable gardeners to work without needing to kneel down. Additionally, they laid an ADA-complaint crushed gravel path, added accessible benches and erected an aluminum fence around the space. Today, St. Michael's Community Garden hosts programming for gardeners and non-gardeners alike, including healthy cooking classes. Project organizers say the garden has helped combat social isolation, and senior housing residents now grow produce in their own backyard, which helps reduce their grocery bills.

Anadarko, OK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: Delaware Nation created an accessible community garden in an area designated as a food desert. Residents of all ages use the garden to plant and harvest fresh fruits and vegetables. The garden includes 25 raised beds, constructed at different heights to accommodate older adults and people with mobility differences. Two beds are specifically designated for growing native plants. Delaware Nation also purchased gardening tools, including wheelbarrows, trellises, garden hoses, an irrigation system and reusable frost blankets. Much of the produce grown onsite is used in meals prepared for the tribe's older members. Tables, shade umbrellas and a charcoal grill allow tribal members to gather and enjoy produce from the garden together.

Mobile, AL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: This project renovated walkways around the museum's community garden to make them fully ADA-compliant.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Boston, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To encourage walking, Boston installed benches in Main Street neighborhood districts across the city. Older adults tested and approved the benches and worked with the City to identify the best locations for them. The initiative's guiding principle was that making walking safe and comfortable for older adults creates a better environment for people of all ages. Project organizers report residents were eager to use the new benches. In fact, as Department of Public Works staff were finishing up an installation, a few people were often waiting to take a seat. The benches contribute to vibrant public spaces near businesses and merchants say they appreciate the increased foot traffic. Project organizers say the installations helped develop a city-wide framework for a sustainable bench program, addressing installation and long-term maintenance.

Boston, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

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

Description: The Boston Public Library offers free, 24-hour Wi-Fi access at outdoor locations around the city. However, many of these workstations were not convenient or equipped for older adults. To fix this, the library expanded the program into new neighborhoods, targeting areas with older populations, low internet adoption rates and low median household income. At each new Wi-Fi workstation, the library installed furniture, solar-powered string lights, age-friendly seating, plants and other decorative items.

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