FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2019
Evey Bell Owen, AARP Alabama, Interim Associate State Director of Communications
Jenny Enslen Stubbs, Main Street Wetumpka, Executive Director
AARP Awards $9,500 Community Challenge Grant to Main Street Wetumpka
The grant will be used to activate alleyway surrounding the existing 90-foot historic mural with entertainment space, benches, green space, lighting, and movable furniture
MONTGOMERY, AL – Main Street Wetumpka has been named a recipient of a 2019 AARP Community Challenge grant, one of three grantees selected in Alabama.
The $9,500 grant will be used to activate an alleyway in historic downtown Wetumpka that hosts an existing 90-foot mural displaying the community’s history. The additions will include entertainment space, benches, lighting, stonework, and movable furniture.
Jenny Enslen Stubbs, Executive Director of Main Street Wetumpka, explains, “We are thrilled to work with AARP on the alleyway cultivation project, which will be a community gathering space with opportunities for cultural enhancement, recreation and more traffic for our small businesses. This project, the largest to date on our Tulotoma Snail Trail, will not only prove to cement our community's optimism for the future despite the recent tornado devastation but will, more importantly, elevate the downtown Wetumpka experience with a beautified, pedestrian-friendly, vibrant space.”
A total of nearly $1.6 million will be distributed to fund 159 “quick action” projects across the country, helping communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages. Nearly 1,700 applications were received from non-profits and government entities for the program, now in its third year. Each of the projects, which must be completed by November 4, is designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:
- Create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.
- Demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” by engaging residents and policymakers in accessing, understanding and using data to increase quality of life for all.
- Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements.
- Support the availability of a range of housing that increases accessible and affordable housing options.
“We are so incredibly excited to support Main Street Wetumpka,” said Candi Williams, AARP Alabama State Director. “Our goal at AARP Alabama is to support the efforts of neighborhoods, cities and towns to be great places for people of all ages. Main Street’s project will provide a wonderful space for the community to gather in the historic downtown.”
Other Alabama grantees include The Black Belt Treasurers Cultural Arts Center in Camden and the South Huntsville Business Association in Huntsville. The full list of grantees can be found at www.aarp.org/communitychallenge.
“AARP has teams on the ground in communities across the country who hear from mayors, community leaders and local residents about the value of getting quick wins to create long-term change. We developed the Community Challenge grant program to answer that call and help build momentum for more livable communities nationwide,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President, Community, State and National Affairs. “This year, we are proud to fund more projects in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.”
The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative which helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. As part of this, AARP staff and volunteers are working across the country, engaging and mobilizing residents, delivering technical assistance and expertise to local leaders and organizations, and supporting the work of the 381 communities and four states that have enrolled in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation'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.
AARP Alabama: www.aarp.org/al | Twitter: @aarpal | Facebook: @alabama.aarp
Main Street Wetumpka is one of 23 designated Main Street Alabama communities. As an independent, nonprofit organization, Main Street’s mission is to revitalize its once-bustling downtown business district through a proven four-point approach. Using the principles of design, promotion, outreach and economic vitality, Main Street Wetumpka preserves the historic integrity and charm of its downtown by empowering its community of business owners and residents through education, inspiration and the dedicated improvement of its ever-evolving spaces. To learn more, visit www.mainstreetwetumpka.org or follow @MainStreetWetumpka on social media.