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Nine Recipients Part of AARP Connecticut’s Sixth Livable Communities Grant Program

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AARP Connecticut has selected nine recipients for its sixth Livable Communities Grant Program dedicated to fund quick-action projects in Connecticut communities that will help make immediate improvements or jumpstart long-term progress that will support residents. AARP Connecticut has funded 38 projects since the inception of the program in 2018.

AARP Connecticut launched the Livable Communities Grant Program, a local expansion of the national AARP Community Challenge initiative, to provide nonprofit organizations and municipalities in Connecticut with up to $5,000 for projects that aim to help neighborhoods, towns and cities become great places for people of all ages. The program is open to incorporated organizations that are 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) nonprofits and Connecticut municipalities who seek to make improvements in their neighborhood or community in Connecticut. The 2023 recipients are:

  • Bloomfield Senior Services
    Bloomfield Senior Services will use the grant to create a series of art-themed adventures for aging adults in the Bloomfield community to share meaningful group experiences while they explore, engage, express, enjoy, learn, and have fun. The initiative will include Happy Hour Plus activities at the Senior Center, excursions to local venues, and a meditation and drum circle program.
  • Colt Park Foundation
    This funding will help enhance Hartford’s Colt Park with an expanded area for music performances, as well as a new domino table and picnic tables. Additional new amenities include two benches at the south side of the internal walkway to ensure there are sufficient rest areas along the park’s 1-mile loop.
  • East Lyme Senior Center
    With this grant, the East Lyme Senior Center will install a permanent coffee and tea station with tables and seating. This will create opportunities for social connection by bringing people together at the senior center to share in conversation over a cup of tea or coffee.
  • Fairgate Farm
    Fairgate Farm will use this grant to create the free Healthy Food, Healthy Mind Outlet outdoor library and food pantry. The publicly accessible, urban farm in Stamford aims to close healthy food access gaps, positively impact mental and cognitive health, and foster community through the operation of this project.
  • Friends of Newtown Seniors
    This grant will help Friends of Newtown Seniors educate older adults about safety in the home as part of their aging in place initiative. Funds will be used to purchase sample devices designed to make a home safer as well as the purchase and installation of safety equipment where financial need has been established.
  • Thames Valley Council for Community Action
    The Thames Valley Council for Community Action will use this funding to support their regular Veterans Coffeehouse events where veterans, active-duty military members, and their families can gather and socialize. The events, hosted by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program throughout New London County, will build social connections and provide an opportunity for attendees to learn about benefits and services.
  • UR Community Cares
    This grant will support improvements in the Cycling Without Age (CWA) Manchester Home Base Project, including installation of a wooden, prefabricated shed, signage for the building, and an additional electric battery for a rickshaw. CWA Manchester, operated by the non-profit UR Community Cares, is a new program focused on improving health and wellness for older adults and those with limited mobility in the region through the provision of electric-powered, volunteer-piloted recreational rickshaw rides throughout the community.
  • Wethersfield Historical Society
    Funding from this grant will support the Wethersfield Historical Society’s construction of an ADA accessible entrance ramp on the rear of its Hurlbut-Dunham House to provide people with mobility challenges access to the historic property.
  • Windsor Historical Society
    As part of a larger pilot program involving ten communities across Connecticut, the Windsor Historical Society – in collaboration with Wood Memorial Library and Museum, and Wintonbury Historical Society – will create oral history projects focusing on older residents in each community.

Projects can range from small, short-term activities to larger, permanent solutions, but they must be completed within 12 months of receiving the funding. Grant applications were evaluated for projects in Connecticut with a focus on improving the lives of those 50+ and making a positive impact within one of the following 8 Domains of Livability:

  • Outdoor spaces and buildings
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Social Participation
  • Respect and Social Inclusion
  • Work and Civic Engagement
  • Communication and Information
  • Community and Health Services

While AARP Connecticut’s Livable Communities Grant Program is only open to Connecticut towns and nonprofits, AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative funds projects in all 50 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. AARP announced in June that it will fund 310 projects across the country in 2023, including five in Connecticut, as part of its seventh annual AARP Community Challenge grant program. More than one thousand projects have been funded since grant program began in 2017.
AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative 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 please visit www.aarp.org/livable.

About AARP Connecticut
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