WASHINGTON, DC—Two Michigan projects are among 89 winners in the first-ever AARP Community Challenge, which aims to create change and improve quality of life in communities across the nation for people of all ages.

The winning projects range from low-cost, short-term actions such as the creation of temporary park spaces and murals to more sizable efforts such as the development of intergenerational playgrounds.

In Michigan:

  • Under the transportation options category, the City of Bessemer was a winner for its artistic bicycle stands, which will be installed around the city to provide secure bicycle parking and, hopefully, encourage more people to bicycle rather than drive.
  • The City of Wayne won in the Placemaking and Beautification category for a Wayne Ripple Effect project. The city will transform an underutilized alleyway into a community gathering and events space.

AARP received almost 1,200 applications for Community Challenge funds, resulting in a highly competitive selection process. All projects are set to be completed by November 1, 2017.

“Great communities require careful planning and time,” said AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond. “These quick action projects will give community leaders the motivation and momentum to create greater change.”

Each project will deliver on one or all of the following:

  • Improve social connections through the built environment benefiting people of all ages and abilities in the community.
  • Expand opportunities for all residents, such as job, volunteer, and educational/training opportunities.
  • Drive inclusive community engagement and interaction across a diverse population.

For a complete list of the winners and projects, visit aarp.org/CommunityChallenge.

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