Today, AARP announced the awardees for its 2018 AARP Community Challenge grant program, including three recipients in Connecticut. A total of $1.3 million will be distributed to fund 129 “quick action” projects across the country, helping communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages. Nearly 1,600 applications were received from non-profits and government entities for the program, now in its second year. Each of the projects, which must be completed by November 5, is designed to achieve on one or more of the following outcomes:
- Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, and/or access to public and private transit.
- Create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.
- Support the availability of a range of housing that increases accessible and affordable housing options.
- Address other issues of importance for communities.
Here in Connecticut, grantees include:
- Hebron: The Town Center ProjectThe Town Center Project will build and install decorative chairs hand-painted by local artists to encourage more people to walk outside, relax, and engage socially with one another.
- New Milford: Town of New MilfordThis grant will provide new park benches and game top tables along an ADA-accessible walking route to encourage walking and multigenerational social engagement.
- Stafford: Citizens Advisory Committee and Town of StaffordThis grant will improve the River Walk Trail to better connect Stafford residents with the outdoors while expanding social opportunities for residents. The trail directly supports the town’s plan for future growth.
“Leaders in Connecticut, and across the nation, are hard at work to make their city, town or neighborhood a great place for people to call home or visit,” said Nora Duncan, AARP CT state director. “To have three grantees in Connecticut demonstrates the variety and quality of ideas leaders all over our state are developing to create livable communities.”
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 more communities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.”
The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative that helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. AARP staff and volunteers are working with roughly 300 communities across the country, engaging and mobilizing community residents, delivering technical assistance and expertise to local leaders and organizations, and supporting the work of the 275 communities and two states that have enrolled in the AARP Network of Age Friendly States and Communities. AARP also provides resources and publications to encourage local action such as the Roadmap to Livability and the AARP book-series Where We Live: Communities for All Ages.
To learn more about AARP’s livable communities work in communities across the country and the AARP Community Challenge please visit www.aarp.org/livable.