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Kenai, AK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: Hey gek'a, also known as the lingonberry or lowbush cranberry, is used by Alaska Native people to treat headaches, swelling, sore throats and tuberculosis and to dye mats, baskets and skin. After the installation of six raised gardening beds on the campus of the Dena'ina Wellness Center, Kenaitze Indian Tribe elders and other community members have improved access to the berries. They also grow 11 other indigenous, medicinal plants at the site, including chamomile, yarrow and stinging nettle. Each plant is tagged with its Dena'ina name, as well as its uses, enabling visitors to learn about the tribe's language and traditional knowledge.

Newport, NH

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: This project turned a vacant lot into a dog park and community garden, both fully ADA accessible, with walkways, benches and raised-bed gardens.

Memphis, TN

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: To help more South Memphis families access fresh food, Knowledge Quest made upgrades the hydroponic system at its Green Leaf Learning Farm, installing fifty new grow towners onsite. The infrastructure improvements allow the three-acre urban farm to produce more vegetables, which Knowledge Quest makes available to local lower-income families. Project organizers say the farm's increased capacity also allows them to offer more farming and nutrition education programming, which helps community members become more self-reliant. Today the farm is an agritourism destination, hosting school field trips related to beekeeping, vegetable growing, aquaponics, green building and more.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Knik-Fairview, AK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Accessibility of amenities

Description: Settler's Bay Park in Mat-Sui Valley is a sanctuary for residents and tourists seeking to view migratory birds and spawning salmon. To make the park ADA-compliant, the Anchorage Great Land Trust installed an accessible scenic overlook platform with seating. The platform enables park visitors of all ages and abilities to enjoy majestic views of Cook Inlet from the area's only coastal park.

Palmer, AK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public art installations

Description: This project set out to create an arts and cultural trail in Palmer by installing four permanent pieces of art throughout town. To oversee the project -- including artist and site selection and community engagement -- the United Way of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough established a volunteer advisory board. They then selected four local artists. Once completed, the art will be displayed near affordable housing complexes, local business, trails and parks and at Palmer's public library. Each piece pays tribute to local history and identity, with one sculpture depicting the Matanuska Maid and a series of ceramic works evoking the flow and shape of the Alaska landscape.

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