AARP Eye Center
When Stacie Noble saw the bounty of cucumbers produced by new raised garden beds at a senior center in Campton, in eastern Kentucky, an idea came to mind: pickle-making party.
Noble, associate director of aging services at the Kentucky River Area Development District, held the party at the Wolfe County Senior Citizens Center. A $2,500 AARP grant paid for the garden beds in Campton and in three other counties.
The quasi-governmental agency in Appalachia is one of six Kentucky winners of 2023 AARP Community Challenge grants, totaling nearly $45,000. The funding is for quick-turnaround projects to help make areas more livable for residents.
Next year, the development district—which serves Breathitt, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Owsley, Perry and Wolfe counties—will pay for new seeds and seedlings since the grant “lit the fire to keep going,” Noble says.
Many of the older residents in the area used to love gardening, “and now with assistance, they can do it again,” she notes.
The other projects are:
- A program in Beverly with high school students teaching computer skills to older residents.
- The purchase of 15 portable generators in Glasgow for qualifying residents with health care needs to use during power outages.
- A design competition in Louisville for accessory dwelling units, such as in-law suites, with winning plans then available to the public for free.
- Pedestrian safety improvements, such as sidewalk repairs and crosswalk improvements, near a community garden in Louisville’s Shelby Park
- The addition of benches, shade canopies, trash cans and other amenities at a community park in Salyersville.