See More Projects Like This One

Castleton-on-Hudson, NY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The Village of Castleton-on-Hudson regularly hosts a Repair Cafe event, where volunteers repaired any item brought to them, if possible. One problem: the event takes place on the second floor of a Village Hall, which has no elevator. This posed an accessibility issue -- locals often complained about climbing the building's difficult staircase. To solve this, the Village moved its Repair Cafe to Noyes Engine House. They also worked to activate a vacant lot next door, installing a community bulletin board, benches and planters onsite. The improvements support wider efforts to revitalize the village's downtown, with the goal of drawing more people to the central business district.

Orange County, FL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To promote safe, physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, Curry Ford West created a pop-up park on a vacant lot. During a community event, two-hundred volunteers constructed a labyrinth onsite made of brightly painted recycled pallets. The park remained in place for a month. Project organizers say the park and labyrinth helped connect the community during a time when people were separated. They also report the pop-up project helped demonstrate to local government leaders the importance of community green space. In the future, Curry Ford West hopes to install more pop-up parks as part of its advocacy for more public spaces in Orlando.

Toledo, OH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: To transform a vacant lot into a pocket park, Salem Lutheran Church installed benches at the site. Inspired by the improvements, community members contributed donations to construct concrete pads for the benches and add trash receptacles nearby. The Church also built a pergola to provide shade at a nearby bus stop, making it the only stop with shelter in the immediate neighborhood. Project organizers engaged local teenagers to help with installation, who volunteered alongside residents. Salem Lutheran Church has since continued its efforts to revitalize North Toledo, hosting a summer youth program to build a community garden for the neighborhood.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Raymore, MO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: As part of efforts to establish Raymore's Municipal Circle as the heart of the community, the City of Raymore created a paved crosswalk. Before, visitors to nearby municipal buildings crossed at unmarked points, leading to safety concerns. To further increase a sense of public safety, they City added lighting. Additionally, they installed park benches nearby to give pedestrians a place to rest. Foot traffic in the neighborhood has increased in recent years -- a new community event space opened nearby and more development is expected. City officials also hope the crosswalk project serves as a pilot for improving walkability in other parts of town.

Raytown, MO

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Trails

Description: This project supported amenities for the new Rock Island Trail, which passes in front of the local Chamber of Commerce. The Raytown Chamber of Commerce Building Foundation installed two benches, a bike stand and a water fountain along the trail. They also hung a wall organizer in the building's lobby to display brochures featuring community information.

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