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AARP AARP States Iowa Livable Communities

Local Projects Improve Iowa Communities

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Eight entities across the state have received 2023 AARP Community Challenge grants—totaling $57,281—for quick-turnaround projects that will help make their areas more livable for residents.

Many of this year’s grants will be used to improve libraries.

In Des Moines, a grant will pay for large-print keyboards, magnification tools and mobility aids at the South Side Library branch. The Ely Public Library, near Cedar Rapids, will also improve its technology with four virtual reality devices for older adults’ education and entertainment.

In the city of Wilton, in eastern Iowa, the public library will add a sensory area to its garden, along with comfortable seating and new vegetable plantings. In western Iowa, the city of Logan’s public library will also improve its outdoor space by adding a covered gazebo, seating and a picnic table. And in central Iowa, land adjacent to the Chariton Public Library will be transformed into an accessible gathering space and sensory garden.

Other Community Challenge grant projects include design competitions in Johnson County to raise awareness of accessory dwelling units, such as in-law suites, which can be an affordable housing option for older adults.

The city of Graettinger in northern Iowa will install pickleball courts at Citizens Park. And in Epworth, in the eastern part of the state, the American Legion John White Post 650 will create a veterans memorial in Tower Park.

All projects must be finished by Nov 30.

Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.