See More Projects Like This One

Baltimore, MD

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Engaging residents in vibrant public places

Description: Sundays in the Street was originally a proposal to close two busy streets to vehicle traffic -- for only two Sundays each month. But after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Baltimore, the car-free experiment became permanent. Project organizers set out bollards and large planters to block off two streets in the Fells Point neighborhood, turning the area into an open-air plaza. This created space for children to play, older adults to stroll and residents to gather safely. The site hosted outdoor dining, kids' activities and live music. Already underway in the spring of 2020, the initiative gave Baltimore a jump start and provided a model for other communities dealing with COVID-19 shutdowns.

Buffalo, NY

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Engaging residents in vibrant public places

Description: This project created monthly Jazz Night the Community Center, which provided access to cultural activities and encouraged multigenerational interaction.

Blaine County, ID

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Engaging residents in vibrant public places

Description: Like many places, Blaine County struggled with community connectedness and social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. To combat this problem, The Senior Connection created the Wood River Valley Daffodil Festival. Over three autumn days, a multigenerational group of volunteers planted 30,000 daffodil bulbs at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden. As planned, the flowers blossomed during the festival, which took place the following spring. The volunteers included older adults, school classes, landscape companies and other community businesses. The festival -- which features food trucks, live music and garden tours -- is now an annual event.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Wichita, KS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Access to high-speed internet

Description: Like many Americans living below the federal poverty level, many residents of Wichita had no easy way to access the internet. To solve this the City of Wichita launched the Wichita Hot Spot initiative. Older adults living in low-income areas can now check out a mobile connectivity device from a Neighborhood Resource Center and use it at home for up to two weeks. The hot spots -- small devices that provide a wireless internet connection -- are meant to be easy for older adults to activate, helping reduce social isolation and narrow the digital divide. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the hot spots continued to be popular, and the program's success led the City to request a Community Development Block Grant to purchase more devices.

Halstead, KS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project will install benches, bench swings and concrete artwork to encourage intergenerational engagement and provide places for rest and conversation along walking paths and in a community garden.

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