— AARP is here to help you take on today – and every day. From sharing practical resources, to holding fun activities and events, AARP is providing opportunities to connect and help build an even stronger Iowa for all ages to live, work and play. We hope you’ll join us!

— This summer four Iowa communities received AARP Community Challenge grants to jump-start beautification and accessibility projects. The Iowa grants, which totaled more than $17,000, will help the Avoca Public Library build a musical park for concerts and a green space for gatherings, enable the Keokuk Parks Foundation to convert tennis courts into dedicated pickleball courts, fund decorative lighting on Main Street in Manning, and share the Woodbine community’s history by mounting signs on buildings and in pocket parks along Main …

— Maddie Miller was born with spina bifida and has been confined to a wheelchair most of her life. Now 22 years of age and employed at the South Suburban YMCA in Des Moines, Miller takes great pride in her independence and relies on Dart transportation to get to and from work. The lack of sidewalks in her neighborhood, however, has put her safety and independence in jeopardy. “From my experience, some of the sidewalks in Des Moines are not safe or …

— Letter to the Editor, by Don Corrigan, AARP Iowa Executive Council Member As a volunteer in July on the Better Block project along East Grand, between East 5th and East 6th streets, I heard mixed comments from passersby [East Village block temporarily transformed for Build a Better Block]. There of course were concerns about where the parking was located, but mostly the questions were about “those silly white posts’” and what their purpose was. However, when the project was finished, …

— By Brad Anderson, AARP Iowa State Director “Whoa!” “I’m impressed.” “It’s growing on me.” “Hey, @bradandersonIA, Miami Vice called. They want their paint back.” These were verbatim reactions to our Des Moines East Village Better Block project from a person driving by in a convertible, a skeptical business owner, a local columnist and a jealous fellow AARP State Director from the east coast. Like it, don’t like it, love it, don’t understand it – whatever you think of this project …

— AARP has announced the awardees for its 2018 AARP Community Challenge grant program, including four recipients right here in Iowa. 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 …

— Ribbon cutting event to celebrate week-long beautification project in Historic East Village Vibrant colors on the street, an elevated and protected bike lane, landscaped sidewalks with planters and trees are just a few of the improvements seen on East Grand Ave. this week thanks to a pop-up Better Block beautification and accessibility project. Through to the work of dozens of local volunteers, the block of East Grand Ave. in Historic East Village, between East Fifth and East Sixth Streets, has …

— AARP Iowa, Greater Des Moines Partnership, City of Des Moines, local businesses teaming up to create age-friendly, healthy, active block Bookended by the Iowa State Capitol to the east and the Des Moines River to the west, East Grand Ave. is a corridor to culture, food, shopping and activity in Downtown Des Moines’ bustling Historic East Village. Home to some of the best restaurants and retail options that Des Moines has to offer, the section of East Grand between East …

— Volunteers Needed: Help us to Build a Better Block! AARP Iowa, the City of Des Moines, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, business owners, and local advocates are working together with Team Better Block on a temporary beautification project on East Grand Ave., in Des Moines, July 16-19. It’s going to take a village, so you too can be a part of this innovative and unique community-building opportunity! The pop-up project in the city’s East Village area, between  E. 5th & …

— AARP Iowa State Director Kent Sovern was honored earlier this month with the 2017 Planning Advocate – Engaged Citizen award from the Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-Iowa) during the Upper Midwest Planning Conference in Dubuque.  This award honors an individual who has advanced or promoted the cause of planning the built environment in the public arena. Cory Scott, an urban planner with RGD Planning and Design led the effort to recognize Sovern. “Kent actively creates partnerships between …

— AARP and the Age Friendly Greater Des Moines Initiative are proud to join with the Downtown Chamber to co-host the April 4th Downtown Council networking event from 8-9 am at the Iowa Cub Club at Principal Park, 1 Line Drive, Des Moines 50309.  The meeting is free to all Des Moines Downtown Chamber members and their employees. Get the scoop on downtown news and member news at this popular Downtown Chamber coffee & networking event, and learn about the Greater …