Today, AARP announced three Connecticut entities 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 Connecticut, projects funded include:
- Fairgate Farm in Stamford. The Community Challenge grant will extend an existing ADA-compliant walkway and install paths, benches, tables, a raised bed, and bike racks at an urban garden and community gathering space in Stamford’s West Side.
- Pope Hartford Designated Fund in Hartford. This project will expand the accessibility of a family gathering site with a children’s play area within Pope Park so older adults and people of all abilities can gather together.
- The Town of West Hartford . Grant funding will be used to increase safety for walkers of all ages, new pedestrian-activated crosswalk warning lights will be installed at highly trafficked intersections.
“We are incredibly proud to partner with Connecticut’s grantees as they work to make immediate improvements in their communities, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change,” shared AARP Connecticut State Director Nora Duncan. “Our goal at AARP Connecticut 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 is administered on a nationwide level, but AARP Connecticut also sponsors a state-level livable communities grant program every year. AARP Connecticut will announce its 2020 Livable Communities Grant Program in the fall. Winners of these grants will be awarded up to $2,500. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive information about the 2020 Connecticut Livable Communities Grant Program.
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’s livable communities work at www.aarp.org/livable.