Today, AARP announced three Arizona organizations will receive 2020 Community Challenge grants – part of the largest number of grantees to date with more than $2.4 million awarded among 184 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement “quick-action” projects to create more livable communities across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Here in Arizona, projects funded include:
- Diocesan Council for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Diocese Phoenix - This project will install raised garden beds, seating and shade trees at a community garden and launch new programming in the space.
- Primavera Foundation (Tucson) - This grant will improve the La Capilla Neighborhood's community garden by building a raised garden bed, purchasing adaptive tools and making the space more accessible and walkable.
- Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (Tucson) - This grant will support a community-wide Arts Care Package Campaign to provide assisted living communities and hospital patients with a diverse array of creative experiences, including music, craft kits, journaling and DIY arts projects.
“We are incredibly proud to partner with Arizona’s grantees as they work to make immediate improvements in their communities, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change,” shared Dana Marie Kennedy, AARP AZ State Director. “Our goal at AARP Arizona is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities and the coronavirus pandemic has only underscored the importance of this work.”
All projects are expected to be completed by December 18, 2020, and are designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:
- Create vibrant public places by improving open spaces and parks and activating main streets.
- Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options by increasing connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, and access a wider range of transportation choices.
- Encourage the availability of a range of housing by increasing accessible and affordable housing solutions.
- Increase civic engagement and demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” by bringing together local leaders and residents from all backgrounds to address challenges.
- Support coronavirus response and recovery efforts by ensuring older adults’ access to information, essential services, and civic life.
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. View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at www.aarp.org/communitychallenge and view an interactive map of all of the Community Challenge projects and AARP Arizona’s livable communities work at www.aarp.org/livable.