Congratulations, Central Falls!

Posted on 08/20/20


AARP Awards Community Challenge Grant to Central Falls

The grant will be used to enhance Veterans Memorial Park

PROVIDENCE The City of Central Falls has been named a recipient of a 2020 AARP Community Challenge grant.

The $30,000 grant will be used to provide much-needed shade at Veterans Memorial Park, a community resource recently opened last fall at 416 Hunt Street, a location in close proximity to three Central Falls public living facilities – Blackstone Valley Assisted, Wilfrid Manor and Forand Manor. Five pyramid shade 20x20 structures will be installed, each creating up to 400 square feet of shade cover.

Also, the grant will fund three forums that will be held in the residences to determine the best locations to install the shade structures and to determine new senior offerings to implement at Veterans

Memorial Park, including chair yoga and zumba.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our City and the older residents who live in the immediate vicinity of Veterans Memorial Park,” said Central Falls Mayor James A. Diossa. “Thank you to AARP for providing us the opportunity to reinvent one of our parks and make it usable for residents of all ages.”

This project is part of the largest number of Community Challenge grants to date with more than $2.4 million awarded among 184 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement “quick-action” projects to create more livable communities across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. All projects are expected to be completed by December 18, 2020, and are designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Create vibrant public places by improving open spaces and parks and activating main streets.
  • Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options by increasing connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, and access a wider range of transportation choices.
  • Encourage the availability of a range of housing by increasing accessible and affordable housing solutions.
  • Increase civic engagement and demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” by bringing together local leaders and residents from all backgrounds to address challenges.
  • Support coronavirus response and recovery efforts by ensuring older adults’ access to information, essential services, and civic life.

“We are incredibly excited to support Central Falls as the city works to make immediate improvements benefiting residents, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change,” said AARP Rhode Island State Director Kathleen Connell. “Our goal at AARP is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities and the coronavirus pandemic has only underscored the importance of this work.”

The full list of grantees nationwide can be found at

The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. View an interactive map of all of the Community Challenge projects at

About Central Falls

The City of Central Falls is a city rich in history, diversity and entrepreneurial spirit. Integral in the height of the industrial revolution with manufacturing, the City of Central Falls has prided itself in hard work and dedication. Today, the City boasts almost 20,000 residents in its one square mile and is the only minority-majority city in the State of Rhode Island. To learn more, visit or follow @CityOfCentralFallsRi on social media.

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

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