DATE: July 18, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Jane Margesson, AARP Maine Communications Director
229-5628 or jmargesson@aarp.org

 

AARP Community Challenge Takes Quick Action in Maine

AARP Funds Six Quick Action Community Projects in Maine to Make Communities More Livable

 

PORTLANDAARP Maine, today, announced the six Maine winners of the AARP Community Challenge Grant to create change and improve the quality of life in their communities. The winning Maine projects come from the communities of Blue Hill, Eastport, Gardiner, Raymond, Readfield and Saco.

 

“In an age-friendly community, residents benefit from an environment that encourages them to remain active, healthy, and socially engaged,” stated Lori Parham, AARP Maine State Director.  “The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities (NAFC) helps participating communities become great places for all ages by adopting such features as safe, walkable streets, better housing and transportation options, access to key services, and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities.  In Maine, we are thrilled by the work communities large and small are doing and we are proud to announce our local winners of the Community Challenge.”

 

In brief, the winners’ projects include:

  • Blue Hill Heritage Trust will construct a new age-friendly trail in Blue Hill to connect the traditional downtown to adjacent areas.
  • The City of Eastport will install outdoor musical instruments in Cony Park to encourage people of all ages to play music together in the public space.
  • The Gardiner Age-Friendly Committee and Gardiner Public Works Department will provide a pop-up demonstration near the public library of different sidewalk treatments, to receive input prior to making permanent improvements.
  • Raymond Village Library will create a new accessible garden to allow people of all ages and abilities to garden together and provide food for the local food pantry.
  • The Age-Friendly Community Committee in Readfield will revitalize an intergenerational outdoor space at the historic Readfield Fairgrounds with seating, bike racks, and picnic tables.
  • Age Friendly Saco will install ADA-compliant beach mats and devices to allow those in wheelchairs or walkers to enjoy the beach—not from a distance, but all the way to the high-water line.

 

All of the winning projects in this challenge focus on one or all of the following:

  • Delivering a range of transportation and mobility options in the city that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability and/or access to public and private transit.
  • Creating vibrant public spaces in the community that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.
  • Supporting the availability of a range of housing options in the community that increases accessible and affordable housing options.

 

AARP received over 1,600 applications from across the country and 129 grants were awarded. For a complete list of the winners and projects, visit www.aarp.org/CommunityChallenge.

 

As part of the effort to encourage towns and communities to develop and advance their own age-friendly ideas, AARP Maine developed a free guide, The Maine Guide to Building Age-Friendly Communities. Written by local age-friendly experts, the guide can help citizen activists and municipalities work together to make changes that benefit residents of all ages.  Free electronic or paper copies can be ordered by sending an email to me@aarp.org or by calling 207-776-6306.

For a complete list of participating communities in the NAFC in Maine and across the country, click here.

Follow us on our Age-Friendly Maine Facebook page.

 

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About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.