AARP Utah announced 4 local organizations will receive 2021 Community Challenge grants – part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.2 million awarded among 244 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement quick-action projects to promote livable communities by improving housing, transportation, public spaces, civic engagement, and connection with family, friends, and neighbors with an emphasis on the needs of the 50-plus. Many of this year’s awards support revitalizing communities adversely impacted by the pandemic and include a focus on diversity, inclusion, and disparities.
“We are incredibly proud to collaborate with these organizations as they work to make immediate improvements in their communities, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change, especially for those age 50 and over,” shared AARP Utah State Director, Alan Ormsby. “Our goal at AARP Utah is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities.”
All projects are expected to be completed by November 10, 2021. Here in Utah, projects funded include:
- Helper City - The one-mile long Helper City Solar Trail will include the installation of Solar System signs with audio components along a popular river walkway, providing recreational and educational value.
- Sweet Streets Salt Lake – A campaign to reduce local street speed limits to 20 miles per hour and encourage walking and bicycling in our Salt Lake by providing wayfinding signs on neighborhood byways.
- Ephraim City - The project consists of developing Ephraim City’s Pioneer Park, a local park neighboring the city’s senior center and assisted living home, to incorporate features that local seniors have described to be enjoyable and lively.
- Epicenter - Epicenter’s Canal Commons affordable housing development will get a critical new senior-friendly greenspace complete with accessible trails, benches, and shade features, ensuring that Green River’s older residents can safely age-in-place.
The Community Challenge 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. Since 2017, AARP Utah has awarded 13 grants and $155,000 through the program to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the state.
View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at www.aarp.org/communitychallenge and learn more about AARP’s livable communities work at www.aarp.org/livable.