Click here to learn about the 2024 AARP Community Challenge — and apply by March 6, 2024.

See More Grantees Like This One

Bethel, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Trails

Description: Many amenities in Bethel are only accessible by car. To encourage active transportation instead, the Town created a path for walking, biking and cross-country skiing. The multiuse trail runs from the town's elementary school to the town's new outdoor recreation area. Organizers hope the new path helps residents reach several upgraded recreational facilities nearby, including a new pool house and skate park. Spurred by the pathway's popularity, the Town is exploring ways to construct connector pathways to expand the trail network. By encouraging people to walk, organizers say the multiuse path will support Bethels economy, connecting pedestrians to local businesses.

Newport, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Trails

Description: Newport's downtown sits on the southern shore of Lake Memphremagog, which extends north to Canada. But because privately-owned businesses and homes cut off the Newport's downtown from the lake, public access to the water was limited. With its Look to the Lake initiative, the town hoped to reorient itself to take advantage of lake activities -- something town officials hoped would have economic development benefits. When a local business owner offered up his private land to create a pedestrian connector trail and boat docks, the City was able to develop the waterfront. Grant funding enabled construction of a much-needed bridge at the site. Since then, the City has acquired more waterfront land, allowing it to create new trails and connect existing ones. The City has also added a parklet at the Newport Waterfront Recreational Trail's trailhead. Today, Newport residents have access to a seven-mile lakefront corridor.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Hinesburg, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: To make crossing the street safer, this project installed a flashing beacon light at a village center crosswalk. The crossing is located near Kelley's Field, an affordable housing community for older adults.

Washington County, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Community Health and Economic Empowerment

Description: To help homebound older adults engage in the visual arts, the Central Vermont Council on Aging delivered creative care kits to residents of Washington, Orange and Lamoille counties. The kits contained art supplies and instructions. For example, one included paper, watercolor paints and a guide to making color choices. Volunteers also checked in on kit recipients, with many participants joining video calls to share their creative work. In 2022, the Council on Aging launched a second year of the initiative, and provided tablets, internet access and tech support to older adults taking part. The program's popularity led to partnerships with the Vermont Arts Council and Meals on Wheels to provide kits to more people.

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