AARP Connecticut announced three Connecticut organizations will receive 2021 Community Challenge grants – part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.2 million awarded among 244 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement quick-action projects to promote livable communities by improving housing, transportation, public spaces, civic engagement, and connection with family, friends, and neighbors with an emphasis on the needs of the 50-plus. Many of this year’s awards support revitalizing communities adversely impacted by the pandemic and include a focus on diversity, inclusion, and disparities.
“We are incredibly proud to collaborate with Connecticut organizations as they work to make immediate improvements in their communities, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change, especially for those age 50 and over,” 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.”
All projects are expected to be completed by November 10, 2021. Here in Connecticut, projects funded include:
- Green & Blue Foundation in Hartford. The Community Challenge grant will be used to enhance pedestrian safety through the installation of traffic calming installations, accessible benches, and a community garden at a park frequented by residents the neighborhood.
- Groundwork Bridgeport in Bridgeport. This project will create a series of intergenerational walks pairing older adults with local youth. Older residents will socialize and get active while teaching younger residents about their experiences in Bridgeport and the city’s history.
- Tolland Conservation Commission in Tolland. Grant funding will help in the creation of Wanat Senior Park, a passive recreation to older residents in the area that features both woodland and meadow accessible walking trails, a labyrinth, a sun-dial, a pollinator garden, and a silo "planetarium" for stargazing.
The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages. Since 2017, AARP has awarded 12 grants and nearly $110,000 through the program to nonprofit organizations and government entities across Connecticut. View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at www.aarp.org/communitychallenge and learn more about AARP’s livable communities work at www.aarp.org/livable.
AARP Connecticut will also sponsor the Livable Communities Grant Program in the fall of 2021, marking the fourth consecutive year of its state-level livable communities grant program. Email email@example.com to receive information about the 2021 initiative.