AARP Kansas announced a winner for the AARP Community Challenge, which aims to create change and improve quality of life at the community level. The winning project is The Wichita Public Library’s launch of three historical walking tours accessible through the PocketSights app. The project was partially funded through the AARP Community Challenge grant and is set to be completed by November 1, 2017.

“We’re excited that we can assist The Wichita Library Foundation with its project to engage older Wichitans in outdoor activities in conjunction with the Open Streets ICT initiative that educates the public on the benefits of biking, running and walking,” said Dr. Maren Turner, AARP Kansas Director. “Open Streets ICT not only provides opportunities for physical exercise, it also encourages social interactions that make a community a better place to live.”

The Wichita Library Foundation’s walking tours will be accessible and navigable for those with various degrees of mobility. Participants can choose one or all of the tours, as each has a different historical theme and follows a separate geographical area along the Open Streets route. The tours are expected to build community, cultural identity, and social engagement. On the PocketSights app, users will experience the sights of Wichita in historical context, encountering stories and anecdotes about the past and bringing history alive.

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell with representatives from the Wichita Public Library and AARP Kansas

“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 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 Community Challenge Grants 

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