AARP Montana Announces Community Challenge Grant Funds Available

Posted on 02/06/20 by Stacia Dahl

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AARP Montana invites community organizations and local governments across the state to apply for the 2020 AARP Community Challenge grant program, now through April 1, 2020. Grants fund “quick-action” projects that can range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to several thousand or tens of thousands for larger projects. Now in its fourth year, the grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide work on livable communities.

“The AARP Community Challenge helps local leaders and organizations make immediate improvements that benefit residents of all ages. With direct support from AARP, communities are able to make quick changes and inspire long-term progress,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer.

There are tremendous opportunities to make our communities even better. We encourage all eligible organizations to apply.

Since 2017, AARP has awarded 376 grants through the AARP Community Challenge to nonprofit organizations and government entities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Grants helped organizations jumpstart progress, raise awareness, and attract additional support and funding. The AARP Community Challenge is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits and government entities. Other types of organizations are considered on a case-by-case basis.

AARP will prioritize projects with permanent or temporary solutions that aim to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

· Increase civic engagement with innovative and tangible projects.

This category is new this year and is intended to bring residents and local leaders together to address challenges and facilitate greater sense of community inclusion and diversity.

· Create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.

· Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements.

· Support the availability of a range of housing that increases accessible and affordable housing options.

· Demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” with programs that engage residents in accessing, understanding, and using data and participating in decision-making to increase quality of life for all.

· Other innovative projects to improve the community.

“We’ve seen tangible results here in Montana from the AARP Community Challenge grant program,” said AARP Montana State Director, Tim Summers. “There are tremendous opportunities to make our communities even better and we encourage all eligible organizations to apply.”

Last year in Montana three communities received grants. The grantees included:

$1,500 -- Anaconda: Anaconda-Deer Lodge County
This grant provided ADA Accessible picnic tables for the Kennedy Common area in Anaconda. Although there are currently park benches available in this area, there were not any picnic tables for the public to use and enjoy. Because the tables will be ADA compliant, they will serve residents of all ages and abilities.

$10,000 – Lewis & Clark Caverns: Montana State Parks Foundation
This grant will funded a shade/weather shelter for the Lewis and Clark Caverns Paradise Room Accessibility Project which opens the caving, speleology, and spelunking experiences at the state park to visitors with mobility challenges.

$10,580 – Bozeman: Western Transportation Institute
Grant funds were used to continue the traffic-calming projects implemented by Western Transportation Institute and the City of Bozeman over the past two years. These projects utilized a Traffic Calming Trailer funded by a previous AARP Community Challenge Grant and provided the safety improvements of permanent projects at less than one quarter of the cost.

“These past grants enabled Anaconda-Deer Lodge County, Lewis & Clark Caverns and the City of Bozeman to make their communities more livable and enhance the quality of life for the people that they serve,” said Summers. “We are thrilled to provide funds to community partners, who provide tremendous service to Montanans every day. Communities and eligible organizations with ideas to make their communities more livable should definitely submit an application.”

AARP Montana works in collaboration with communities across the state, bringing people together and providing resources and expertise to help make Montana’s counties, towns and cities great places to live for people of all ages.

The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020. All projects must be completed by November 9, 2020. To submit an application, visit www.AARP.org/CommunityChallenge. For examples of past winners, visit www.AARP.org/CommunityChallenge.

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

About AARP Montana:
For nearly 50 years, AARP has been working right here in big sky country to improve the lives of the 50 plus. By fighting on issues that matter most to Montana families and providing trusted information, we’re helping Montanans live life to the fullest. Today, nearly 150,000 strong, AARP Montana is the largest membership organization in the state. As a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political action committees, campaigns or candidates.

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This story is provided by AARP Montana. Visit the AARP Montana page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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