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Cuba City, WI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: For more than ten years, Cuba City's planning documents promised an intergenerational gathering space downtown. This project made good on that promise, converting a gravel parking lot into a gathering space. Organizers hoped the Presidential Plaza Project would increase walkability and draw traffic to Cuba City's Main Street business district. To activate the space, volunteers installed a bike rack, outdoor games and picnic tables with umbrellas for shade. A Wi-Fi hotspot provides free internet access for visitors. To beautify the area, residents painted a large mural on the pavement, which pays tribute to frontline workers' contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic. A later addition to the mural depicts the Mississippi river and includes an area for visitors to play hopscotch.

Warren, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project will convert a vacant property the site of a demolished former hospital into a greenspace for older adults by installing trees, landscaping, a walking path and lighting.

Ronceverte, WV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To give residents an outdoor space to gather, this project set out to create a pocket park in downtown Ronceverte. Organizers poured topsoil to level out the site and added benches and raised flower beds. A mural is also planned for the site.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Richmond, VA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public or private transit access

Description: To make waiting for the bus more comfortable and accessible for residents of the Northside neighborhood, Storefront for Community Design installed six benches. The organization partnered with Northside Strong, a coalition of community groups and local nonprofits, as well as environmental group Groundwork RVA. To determine the best locations for the benches, Northside Strong conducted a study and held public engagement sessions, which more than 200 residents attended. Project organizers then hosted multigenerational events where residents designed, painted and installed the benches. They offered stipends to 44 low-income community members for their time, labor and expertise throughout the project. Organizers with Storefront for Community Design say the community-wide collaboration shows the necessity of providing amenities, such as benches, for Richmond residents.

Richmond, VA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The Greater Richmond Age Wave Coalition hoped to beautify the Green Park neighborhood and foster relationships between neighbors. To do this, the nonprofit worked to provide community gardening opportunities to residents. To allow older adults to grow produce at home, the nonprofit built 25 garden boxes. Additionally, they created an outdoor courtyard space with raised garden beds at Highland Park Apartments. The Coalition hired local youth to construct and deliver the self-water boxes. The Coalition also held two community gardening events. To help people participate, they offset a portion of public transportation fares for attendees. The Age Wave Coalition's gardening efforts operate under the talent-sharing model, which connects experienced gardeners with people interested learning more about growing fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs.

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