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AARP Community Challenge Grantees: New York 2022

ChallengeGrantees2022 - Announcement

From pickle ball to storytelling, AARP invests $87K in six NYS communities

Communities across New York are reclaiming an empty parking lot, giving older adults space to exercise and providing education about multi-generational living with the help of $86,740 in funding from AARP New York.

AARP is working with local leaders, organizations and dedicated residents to help make New York state more livable. This year, AARP is excited to announce the largest investment of grant dollars to date through the Community Challenge grant program. More than $3.4 million in quick-action grants are being distributed to 260 organizations across all 50 states, Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Community Challenge funds innovative projects that inspire change in areas such as transportation; public spaces; housing; diversity, equity, and inclusion; civic engagement; and more. This year, with additional funding support from Toyota Motor North America, the program is also increasing its investment in projects that improve mobility innovation and transportation options. [OE(1]  

AARP is also bolstering its support of affordable and adaptable housing solutions in response to the national housing crisis, as well as those that address disparities through permanent or temporary solutions. Many of this year’s projects also include ways to help communities leverage funding under the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

AARP NY is proud to have six grantees in our state this year. To date, AARP NY’s funded 21 grants totaling $286,224.

 Our goal is to support their efforts to create great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities. As local leaders seek to better their communities for the future, this becomes even more critical.

In New York, these innovative and diverse projects were funded:

  • A grant of $10,000 toward the Freedom Story Project at John Brown Lives! in the Adirondacks. The project, which enlists older volunteers, collects stories of social justice service and activism – emphasizing the stories of older adults – to forge inspiring connections between generations.
  • A grant of $15,000 for two publicly accessible, permanent tennis courts at the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York. The project will feature pickle ball to engage the community and provide an activity that’s easy to pick up for older players or those with mobility concerns.
  • A grant of $15,000 to the Regional Plan Association to identify, interview and film older residents on Long Island to share their stories highlighting the need for and benefits of accessory dwelling units. The videos will be shared on social and other media to advance education on ADUs.
  • A $15,240 grant for the New York City Department for the Aging to expand the Intergenerational Cultural Workshops Series to build community and foster healing from exposure to crime. The series aims to strengthen the family unit, increase community engagement and promote access and equity for 540 older adults and children living in high crime neighborhoods in the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn.
  • A $20,000 grant for the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation to convert an abandoned downtown lot into a thriving community space filled with accessible seating, improved lighting, and public art while focusing on older residents and the disabled within the community.
  • A $11,500 grant will establish Jazz Night @ Dorothy J Collier Community Center in Buffalo to enhance cultural activities, create a sense of belonging, encourage multigenerational interaction, beautify the neighborhood and provide an outlet for disenfranchised community members.

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 New York and across the nation, visit You can also view an interactive map of all of the Community Challenge projects and AARP NY’s livable communities work at

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