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Hebron, NE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Trails

Description: The Thayer County Walking Coalition aims to provide local residents with opportunities to walk and bike. This project improved trails in the City of Hebron. To create places for walkers to socialize, the coalition added seating areas with shade trees, benches and trash cans. Project organizers installed new signs guiding people to local attractions, including the World's Largest Covered Porch Swing and the site of a World War II POW camp.

Malvern, IA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: The community of Malvern is an art hub for the region, but several spaces in the town were underutilized and aesthetically unappealing for residents and visitors. Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development improved two public corridors, allowing people to gather there. The Wabash Trace Corridor now boasts upcycled metal art panels. Additionally, artists and volunteers transformed an underutilized alley on the east side of Main Street into Malvern's Art Alley. The Art Alley -- which connects Malvern's downtown -- features murals on fences, garage doors and the backs of buildings. An interactive map includes a QR code, which links to a website showing the locations of each piece of public art.

Cedar City, UT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The Iron City Tourism Bureau hoped to improve walkability along three blocks of the Cedar City's University Boulevard. To do this, the organization created an artistic crosswalk at a busy intersection, which both beatified the crossing and made it more visible to drivers. The Bureau also commissioned a mural nearby to commemorate the city's connection to Utah's national parks. To encourage people to walk and gather, they installed benches along the boulevard. New signs directed pedestrians to nearby attractions and services. Following the improvements, the Bureau reported slower traffic speeds. More murals and crosswalk art are in the works and the Bureau is advocating for bike lanes in the neighborhood.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Cleveland, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Pickleball -- a game that's a combination of tennis and ping pong -- has exploded in popularity. Because of its relatively small court, the sport involves less running, making it gentler on knees and joints than tennis, so it's particularly appealing to older adults. To accommodate demand for playing space, the City of Findlay converted unused, dilapidated tennis courts in Riverside Park into eight new pickleball courts. Bleacher seating onsite enables the new courts to host leagues and tournaments. Project organizers also installed a bulletin board for sharing information, as well as a wind screen to shield players. Since construction completed, City staff report the courts are full nearly every morning.

Cleveland, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority saw an opportunity to revitalize an abandoned volleyball court behind one of their public housing buildings, creating a space to bring residents together and address social isolation. Using input from the residents of Riverview Tower, an apartment building for low-income older adults, they created a garden where residents can grow their own fruits and vegetables. The garden has places to sit and features accessibility features for residents with mobility challenges. Additionally, the space includes sensory areas, which allow visitors to smell, touch and taste herbs, fruits and berries.

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