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Omaha, NE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Organizers with Spark thought an unused parking lot at the head of the North Omaha Trail had potential to be something more. So they set out to turn the site into a seed archive -- a building designed to store seeds for growing vegetables, flowers and other plants. Local artists decorated the new building and project organizers installed seating for the space. The seed archive supports the nearby Healthy Roots community garden, which provides fresh produce to local families. Additionally, the archive represents a win for biodiversity, since many of the seeds stored there will grow into plants native to Nebraska, including pollinator-friendly species.

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.

St. Louis, MO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project was part of multi-year efforts to activate transit stations throughout the St. Louis region. Citizens for Modern Transit installed accessible seating, a UV-protective shade and a mural examining local history at the North Hanley Transit Center. Organizers hope the improvements spark economic development by creating a community gathering space and encouraging people to use public transit.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Lebanon, NH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Micromobility enhancements/management

Description: This project enabled Friends of the Northern Rail Trail to purchase an electric rickshaw. They used it to provide rides to older adults, operated by volunteer cyclists.

South Royalton, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public safety interventions

Description: This project installed public art and new lighting to help revitalize a train underpass that forms a vital connection point in the bisected village.

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