AARP Community Challenge Takes Quick Action in Maine
AARP Funds Four Quick Action Community Projects in Maine to Make Communities More Livable
PORTLAND —AARP Maine announces four winners for the AARP Community Challenge, aiming to create change and improve quality of life at the community-level. The winning projects include Bethel, Bowdoinham, North Yarmouth and Wayne. Each project was partially or fully funded through the AARP Community Challenge grant and is set to be completed by November 1, 2017.
“In an age-friendly community, residents benefit from an environment that encourages them to remain active and socially engaged,” stated Lori Parham, AARP Maine State Director. “The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities helps participating communities become great places for all ages by adopting such features as safe, walkable streets, better housing and transportation options, access to key services, and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities. In Maine, we are thrilled by the engagement of communities large and small and are proud to announce the four winners of the Community Challenge.”
In brief, the winners’ projects include:
- Age-Friendly Community Initiative (Bethel-Gilead-Greenwood-Newry-Woodstock) is establishing a three-part program to educate and support home safety programs to prevent falls and improve fire safety, and offer home tool kits to support aging in place.
- Age-Friendly Bowdoinham is starting a garden club as part of a larger project to engage isolated older residents.
- Living Well in North Yarmouth is designing a rapid-entry system which allows secure emergency access for property owners and fire departments.
- Wayne Aging at Home is installing blinker and crosswalk signs to address pedestrian safety concerns.
“Great communities require careful planning and time,” said AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond. “These quick action projects will give community leaders the motivation and momentum to create greater change.”
All of the winning projects in this challenge will deliver on one or all of the following:
· Improve social connections through the built environment benefiting people of all ages and abilities in the community.
· Expand opportunities for all residents, such as job, volunteer, and educational/training opportunities.
· Drive inclusive community engagement and interaction across a diverse population.
For a complete list of the winners and projects, visit aarp.org/CommunityChallenge.
As part of the effort to encourage other towns and communities to develop and advance their own age-friendly ideas, AARP Maine developed a free guide, The Maine Guide to Building Age-Friendly Communities. Written by local age-friendly experts, the guide can help citizen activists and municipalities work together to make changes that benefit residents of all ages. Free electronic or paper copies can be ordered by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 207-776-6306.
For a complete list of participating communities in the NAFC in Maine and across the country, go to http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/network-age-friendly-communities/info-2014/member-list.html