The AARP Community Challenge grant winner is Gulfport.

(Ridgeland, MS) The city of Gulfport has won the AARP Community Challenge, which aims to create change and improve quality of life at the community level. Gulfport won for its proposal to develop a Bark Park. Each winning project throughout the nation was partially or fully funded through the AARP Community Challenge grant and is set to be completed by November 1, 2017.

“We are proud to announce that the city of Gulfport is the winner of the first AARP Community Challenge grant,” said AARP Mississippi State Director Kimberly L. Campbell, Esq. “We know that great communities take a long time to build and sustain. But, we also believe “quick actions” can be the critical spark for longer term progress.  That’s why AARP is spearheading this Community Challenge to fund projects that can help build momentum. We look forward to seeing Gulfport’s Bark Park in November.”

The city of Gulfport will receive a $13,800 grant to transform a one-acre property that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina into a Bark Park. The property is located at the new Brickyard Bayou Park, along 8th Avenue. The Bark Park will be designed with assistance from the American Kennel Club. It will feature benches, watering stations and educational signage.

“Great communities require careful planning and time,” said AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond. “These quick action projects will give community leaders the motivation and momentum to create greater change.”

All of the winning projects throughout the nation in this challenge will deliver on one or all of the following:

  • Improve social connections through the built environment benefiting people of all ages and abilities in the community.
  • Expand opportunities for all residents, such as job, volunteer, and educational/training opportunities.
  • Drive inclusive community engagement and interaction across a diverse population.

For a complete list of the winners and projects, visit aarp.org/CommunityChallenge.

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