Communities across Minnesota are all working to become more livable for residents of all ages.
And, AARP is working across Minnesota in partnership with local leaders, organization, and dedicated residents to help make that vision a reality. As part of that effort, AARP is excited to announce the largest number of projects to-date through the Community Challenge program. These quick-action grants are being distributed to 244 organizations across all 50 states, Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands - including six here in Minnesota!
The Community Challenge funds innovative projects that inspire change in areas such as transportation, public spaces, housing, diversity and inclusion, civic engagement, coronavirus response and more.
AARP Minnesota 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 and as local leaders seek to better their communities for the future, this is even more critical.
Here in Minnesota, these exciting and diverse projects were funded:
- City of Brooklyn Park, Recreation and Parks - This project will provide portable pathways, accessibility mats and seating in event spaces to allow community members of all ages and abilities the ability to celebrate safely in the outdoors together.
- City of Shakopee - A thriving community garden needs to move from its current location due to new development - this project will allow the city to convert a vacant parcel into a new more centrally located and easily accessible home.
- Family Service Rochester - A diverse, low-income, multigenerational neighborhood will have an existing pocket park improved by planting trees, adding a bench, and installing a multilingual information kiosk.
- Region Five Development Commission - Through this effort, transit passes, transit training and memberships to a local health and wellness center will be provided to 50 low-income seniors, veterans and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe members.
- St. Anthony Park Community Council - New artistic benches, a mural, and creative crosswalks will be installed to connect underserved residents - many of whom are older adults, persons with disabilities or people of color - along the shortest path to a light rail station.
- Hibbing Farmers Market - This project will provide much needed sheltered seating at a market entrance for shoppers and friends and help community senior citizens by providing fresh vegetables and fruits to them each week in the Senior Power of Produce program.
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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota’s livable communities work at aarp.org/livable.