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Three Michigan cities win AARP Community Challenge Grants


[LANSING, MI] AARP today announced the awardees for its 2018 AARP Community Challenge grant program, including three recipients right here in Michigan.

A total of $1.3 million will be distributed to fund 129 “quick action” projects across the country, helping communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages. Nearly 1,600 applications were received from non-profits and government entities for the program, now in its second year.

The three Michigan winners are:

  • Detroit: Eden Gardens Block ClubThis grant will create a multigenerational community-built playground in an area currently without any safe, nearby play resources, in order to promote greater connectivity amongst area residents.
  • Flint: Carriage Town Neighborhood AssociationWith the help of the city, a university and a foundation, this neighborhood will renovate a park by installing lights and a footbridge that connects residents to the downtown area.
  • Rochester Hills: City of Rochester HillsGrant funds will provide for an intergenerational outdoor exercise space to include equipment, water fountain and benches to encourage social interaction and healthy living.

“There are quick turnaround projects that will improve these communities this year,” said Paula D. Cunningham, AARP Michigan State Directors. “We’re proud to have three grant winners in Michigan.”

Each of the projects, which must be completed by November 5, is designed to achieve on one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, and/or access to public and private transit.
  • Create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.
  • Support the availability of a range of housing that increases accessible and affordable housing options.
  • Address other issues of importance for communities.

The full list of grantees can be found at

“AARP has teams on the ground in communities across the country who hear from mayors, community leaders and local residents about the value of getting quick wins to create long-term change. We developed the Community Challenge Grant Program to answer that call and help build momentum for more livable communities nationwide,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President, Community, State and National Affairs. “This year, we are proud to fund more projects in more communities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.”

The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative that helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. AARP staff and volunteers are working with roughly 300 communities across the country, engaging and mobilizing community residents, delivering technical assistance and expertise to local leaders and organizations, and supporting the work of the 275 communities and two states that have enrolled in the AARP Network of Age Friendly States and Communities.  AARP 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 and the AARP Community Challenge please visit


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