Thayer County Walking Coalition received a 2017 Community Challenge grant to add signage and benches to this trail in Hebron.

AARP is now accepting applications for the 2018 Community Challenge grant program to fund “quick-action” projects that spark change in local communities. The grant program, which is now in its second year, is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which aims to make communities great places to live for everyone.

The Community Challenge is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits and government entities. Other types of organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Projects may range in scale from small, short-term activities costing hundreds of dollars to larger projects with budgets of a few thousand dollars. The grants fund projects in areas such as housing, transportation and public space that spark longer-term progress and help build momentum for local change to improve livability for all residents.

“AARP aims to support fresh and innovative ideas put forth by local leaders to make their communities more livable for everyone,” said Connie Benjamin, state director of AARP Nebraska. “We are excited to review grant applications from across our state and help new projects come to life in 2018.”

In 2017, AARP awarded two of 88 grants nationwide to the Thayer County Walking Coalition and KearneyWORKS. In Hebron, the coalition’s placement of signage and benches supports trail access for older adults and provides resting places in designated scenic areas.

KearneyWORKS strives to implement programs that benefit the city’s unemployed and underemployed residents. The AARP grant is helping the agency implement an affordable, ride-sharing option for people in need.

For details and to submit a grant application by May 16 by 5 p.m.ET, visit aarp.org/CommunityChallenge. Winning applicants will be notified by June 25 and the projects must be completed by Nov. 5.