AARP invests in communities across Kansas through six organizations as part of nationwide grant program to help communities become more livable for residents of all ages.
AARP is working in partnership with local leaders, organizations and dedicated residents to help make that vision a reality. As part of that effort, AARP is excited to announce the largest investment of grant dollars to date through the Community Challenge grant program. More than $3.4 million in quick-action grants are being distributed to 260 organizations across all 50 states, Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Community Challenge funds innovative projects that inspire change in areas such as transportation; public spaces; housing; diversity, equity, and inclusion; civic engagement; and more. This year, with additional funding support from Toyota Motor North America, the program is also increasing its investment in projects that improve mobility innovation and transportation options.
AARP is also bolstering its support of affordable and adaptable housing solutions in response to the national housing crisis, as well as those that address disparities through permanent or temporary solutions. Many of this year’s projects also include ways to help communities leverage funding under the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
AARP Kansas is incredibly proud to have six grantees right here in our state. Our goal is to support their efforts to create great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities. As local leaders seek to better their communities for the future, this becomes even more critical.
Here in Kansas, these exciting and diverse projects were funded:
- Blue Rapids, a pickleball court to help community members stay active
- Dodge City, placement of vinyl wall graphics in downtown area to celebrate community’s history and diversity
- Iola, Thrive Allen County, installation of a musical playground for all ages in a flower garden at Allen County Regional Hospital open to patients, staff and the community
- Medicine Lodge, Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Association, create accessible path at the Five Plains Tribes section of the Outdoor Museum Trail connecting various points in Memorial Peace Park to meet the diverse needs of older adults
- Newton, Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams, creation of wetland park with walkways, benches, signage, murals and birding-by-ear elements for blind and low-vision park users
- Topeka, The Gil Carter Initiative, construction of a greenhouse, outdoor community garden, walkways and benches to support efforts around food insecurity especially for older residents
The Community Challenge is part of AARP’s nationwide work on livable communities, which supports the efforts of neighborhoods, towns, cities and counties across the country to become great places for all residents. We believe that communities should provide safe, walkable streets; affordable and accessible housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community life.
To learn more about the work being funded by the AARP Community Challenge both here in Kansas as well as across the nation, visit aarp.org/CommunityChallenge. You can also view an interactive map of all of the Community Challenge projects and AARP Kansas’s livable communities work at aarp.org/livable.