CLACKAMAS —AARP awarded more than $25,000 to three Oregon community projects with Community Challenge Grants. “These are ‘quick-action’ projects that spark change in local communities,” said state director Jerry Cohen. The grant program, now in its second year, is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which aims to make communities great places to live for everyone.

The three Oregon Challenge Grant winners include:

  • $10,000 to Verde to focus on mobile home repairs in the Cully neighborhood of Portland
  • $7,000 to the City of Hood River to temporarily open Hood River streets to the community and closing them to cars to encourage physical activity
  • $8,220 to Crook County on the Move in Prineville to install age-friendly benches along pedestrian walkways

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

  • delivering a range of transportation and connectivity options in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that increase walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements
  • creating vibrant public places in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that activate open spaces, improve parks and improve access to amenities
  • supporting the availability of a range of housing in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that increase accessible and affordable housing options
  • other innovative projects to improve the community

“We strive to make Oregon a great place to live, work and play for people of all ages,” said AARP Oregon State Director Jerry Cohen. “We are delighted to help fund projects that community organizations believe will make a difference for local livability.” The full list of grantees can be found at www.aarp.org/communitychallenge.