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Carson City, NV

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public or private transit access

Description: Organizers at the Brewery Art Center hoped to improve accessibility at a nearby bus stop. So they installed new lighting and benches at the site, allowing more residents to take advantage of public transportation to get them to the Center's events, classes and galleries. Project organizers also worked with the local transportation department to increase transit service hours during the Center's events. These accessibility improvements enabled the Center to offer new programming for older adults, including a rock choir called School of Rock, Senior Years. Additionally, grant funding allowed for the restoration of a mural painted in the 1990s, which depicts the family who ran the Carson Brewery Company.

Chino Valley, AZ

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public or private transit access

Description: Yavapai Regional Transit installed an ADA-compliant bus stop shelter in Chino Valley. Although the transit provider had purchased a steel bus shelter, it lacked enough funding to install it properly. This project laid a concrete pad for the shelter, as well as an accessible walkway and bollards to protect it from traffic. On the day of its installation, a frequent rider asked if she could sit on the bench just to try it out. She told project organizers she was looking forward to having shelter from the sun and rain. Yavapai Regional transit chose Chino Valley for the shelter because many residents there don't drive or lack financial resources for other forms of transportation.

Chula Vista, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Public or private transit access

Description: The City of Chula Vista wanted to increase older adults' familiarity with public transit options. Partnering with the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, they held Travel Training 101 courses with more than forty older residents. Instructors provided trainees with information on how to read transit schedules, plan trips and purchase fares. Then they held field trips, using transit to visit a community festival and the Norman Park Senior Center. Additionally, participants received a 30-day senior transit pass. Following the training, participants said they felt more comfortable using transit, with 83 percent planning to renew their passes. One said she realized that the 20-minute bus ride between their home and the Senior Center saved her 62 a month. Previously she paid 40 round trip by taxi at least twice monthly.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

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.

Northfield, VT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: Northfield Common Connections wanted to start a community dialogue about local walkability and pedestrian infrastructure. The organization set out to evaluate the pedestrian environment in Northfield. First, Northfield Common Connections conduced a walk audit. Volunteers traveled by foot through town and evaluated streetscape features that made walking easy or difficult. Additionally, the organization also conducted a survey of pedestrian activity, observing how passersby navigated the street. As a result of their evaluation, organizers decided to paint a walk-bike lane through town. To shield path users from vehicle traffic, volunteers installed delineators along the route. Playful wayfinding signage helps residents navigate the path and organizers added benches to give people a resting place. Organizers say the effort was especially important since the path serves a neighborhood that suffered economic impacts after a hurricane, connecting residents with needed amenities downtown.

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