Content starts here
AARP AARP States Montana

Announcing the 2024 Community Challenge Grant Recipients in Montana

2024 Community Challenge Grant Winners.png


AARP Montana Awards Grants to Six Montana Organizations as Part of its Nationwide Program to Make Great Communities Even Better 

Helena, Mont., June 26, 2024 — AARP Montana announced six organizations throughout Montana will receive 2024 Community Challenge grants – part of AARP’s largest investment in communities to date with $3.8 million awarded among 343 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement quick-action projects that help communities become more livable by improving public places; transportation; housing; digital connections; and more, with an emphasis on the needs of adults ages 50 and older.

“AARP Montana is committed to working with local leaders, advocates and policymakers to make already great communities even better places to live for Montanans of all ages, especially those 50 and older,” said Tim Summers, AARP Montana State Director. “We are proud to collaborate with this year’s grantees as they make immediate improvements to address long-standing and emerging challenges across our communities.”

Here in Montana, six projects were funded for a total of $88,936. Those projects include: 

Flagship Grants Awarded in Montana

$24,000 – Southeast Montana Area Revitalization Team, Baker, MT - Rural Food Forest
This project will create a food forest by installing trees, benches, lighting and irrigation. Fallon County has donated the land, cleared and soil tested it and permitted the project. 

$20,000 – Prickly Pear Land Trust, Helena, MT – Ten Mile Creek Park Improvements
This project will add comfortable, wheelchair-charging amenities and park enhancements for those who need them, making the park more accessible and inclusive for all park users. 

$7,436 – Songbird Community Garden, Billings, MT – Expand Giving Garden
Songbird Community Gardens' expansion of their Giving Garden beds will improve opportunities to donate fresh vegetables to local families, seniors, and food pantries who need food assistance. 

$20,000 – Human Resources Development Council IX, Livingston, MT – Accessory Dwelling Unit Community Educational Workshop Series
This project will educate Park County residents about building accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Workshops will include information on financing, zoning, design, and more. ADUs can be a solution for local workforce housing and/or multi-generational living and aging in place. This four-part workshop will prepare participants to initiate construction.

Demonstration Grants

$15,000 – Shelter WF, Whitefish, MT – Housing Design Competition
This project will create a local design competition to shine a spotlight on diverse housing options. The competition will invite innovative design submissions from local architecture firms, companies, and students across the state. The competition will highlight and recognize the pressing need for diverse, affordable, accessible, and community-centric housing for people of all ages.

Capacity Building Grant

$2,500 – Community Food and Agriculture Coalition, Missoula MT – Western Montana Farmers Market Walk-Audit Project
This project will conduct five walk audits of Farmers Market locations in Western Montana to identify potential locations for sidewalk, crosswalk, and overall physical access improvement.

Later this summer, AARP Montana will be announcing six additional Community Challenge Grants totaling $24,600 that are funded through the AARP Montana state office.

This year, AARP awarded three different grant opportunities, including flagship grants, capacity-building microgrants for improving walkability, bikeability and accessible home modifications, and demonstration grants that focus on equitable engagement to reconnect communities, housing choice design competitions and improving digital connections to endure disasters.

With funding support from Toyota Motor North America, the program is increasing its investment in pedestrian safety projects that will improve streets and sidewalks, create vibrant pedestrian infrastructure, engage community members and much more. AARP is also bolstering its investment in community resilience, rural communities, and addressing disparities.

“Whether it’s a community engagement project to promote safer streets or a park bench to provide residents a breather, small community projects can make a big impact for people of all ages,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. “AARP’s Community Challenge grantees make our commitment to create better places to live nationwide a reality through quick, but innovative solutions.”

The grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages, with an emphasis on people ages 50 and older.

With this year’s grants, AARP Montana has awarded a total of $549,531 to 53 community projects across the state since 2017. To see all previous projects go to:

AARP Community Challenge grant projects will be funded in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. True to the program’s quick-action nature, projects must be completed by December 15, 2024.

View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at and learn more about AARP’s livable communities work at

View Past Community Challenge Grant Winners in Montana:

View the latest edition of the Investing in Montana Communities report here >>

About AARP Montana
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.