AARP announced it is investing $3.4 million through 260 Community Challenge grants for quick-action projects that will help communities become more livable in the long-term.
These grants will improve public places; transportation; housing; diversity, equity and inclusion; digital access; and civic engagement, with an emphasis on the needs of adults age 50 and over. Many of this year’s projects will help communities leverage funding under the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Chelmsford was singled out as an example in AARP’s announcement with their awarded project establishing informational kiosks and mini libraries to educate older residents about Chelmsford’s Indigenous Peoples throughout the town near historical markers, public parks and trailheads on Indigenous lands.
Massachusetts captured the following projects that received awards:
Mass Bike – Create an intergenerational bicycling program in conjunction with a new Worcester e-bike pilot. They will offer five workshops & group rides to increase health, social connections, and understanding between participants.
The Trustees of the Reservation – This project will improve safety and accessibility in 2 community gardens in Boston to increase access to and engagement with these important spaces, offering respite and recreation in the urban landscape in Mattapan.
Chelmsford Public Library – This project will provide education and awareness about Chelmsford’s Indigenous Peoples through the installation of educational kiosks, mini outdoor libraries and a series of programs celebrating Indigenous peoples’ art, music, history and culture.
Dennis Center for Active Living – Turn a corner lot on a public right of way section of the senior center into accessible “green patio” including raised garden beds around the perimeter available to residents to enjoy gardening activities, games and socialization.
Westport Council on Aging -Provide fixed-route transportation services one day per week from 9am-3pm alternating between Fall River and Dartmouth shopping centers, grocery stores, and clothing stores.
AARP Community Challenge grant projects will be funded in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. True to the program’s quick-action nature, projects must be completed by November 30, 2022.
This year, AARP is bolstering its investment of affordable and adaptable housing solutions in response to the national housing crisis. 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.