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Closter, NJ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project set out to connect a parking area with a lively commercial street. To do this, organizers transformed an underused alley into a pocket park. They outfitted the space with benches and landscaping. The space helps commuters and shoppers travel through Closter's downtown and doubles as a community gathering space.

Aguila, AZ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The Aguila Community Center in rural Aguila is a community hub for residents of all ages, despite its aging infrastructure, leaky roof and signs of wear and tear. To make the facility useable during the monsoon season, leaders at the center fixed the concrete floor with laminate plank flooring and weatherized the roof to make the facility fully functional. Since the improvements, the Aguila Community Center has hosted COVID-19 vaccine clinics, fitness classes, quincenearas and other community celebrations and events during all months of the year.

Kuna, ID

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Kuna has a large parking lot in the center of its downtown that goes largely underused for most of the year. To spark the community's imagination, the City and Idaho Smart Growth hosted the Park for a Day event, which turned the lot into a pop-up plaza. The event featured live music, a food vendor and sketches illustrating ways the space could be permanently transformed. Attendees also contributed their own designs for the parking lot. Suggestions included using the space for a series of short-term, recurring events, such as an Oktoberfest, a Christmas village, a renaissance fair or themed dance nights. The City went on to explore several ideas from the pop-up event, including paving the parking lot with solar panels and installing green stormwater infrastructure to sustain landscaping at the site.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Menlo Park, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Expansion and enhancement of transportation options

Description: This project expanded a program providing reduced-cost rides for older adults via ride-hailing services into the northern reaches of San Mateo County.

Santa Cruz, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Accessory dwelling units, tiny homes and manufactured housing

Description: An increasing number of older adults are at risk of losing their homes. Common reasons include rising housing costs or homes that are unsuitable for aging in place. According to David Foster, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay, 300 families in the high-cost Santa Cruz area are income-burdened. To address this, Habitat for Humanity's My House My Home program builds aging-friendly accessory dwelling units. This project involved building an ADU attachment onto an older couple's home. That allowed the couple to rent out the unit, providing them with rental income that allowed them to remain in their home of 50 years. Grant funding also supported accessibility to the main house, including a new walkway and ramp, as well as low-water landscaping. They have the option to move into the ADU - which also includes accessibility features - if they choose to downsize in the future.

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