Eight Iowa Organizations Awarded 2023 Community Challenge Grants

Posted on 06/28/23

We’re excited to announce that eight organizations throughout Iowa will receive a combined $57,281 in 2023 AARP Community Challenge grants – part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.6 million awarded among 310 organizations nationwide. Grantees in Iowa and across the country will implement quick-action projects that help communities become more livable, with an emphasis on the needs of adults age 50 and over.

Challenge Grant Map (1).png

The AARP Community Challenge funds innovative projects that inspire change in areas such as public places; housing; transportation; diversity, equity, and inclusion; digital connections; community resilience; and more.

This year, AARP is also bolstering its investment in rural communities, mobility innovation, transportation options, and health and food access. The program accepted applications across three different grant opportunities, including existing flagship grants in addition to new capacity-building microgrants for improving walkability and community gardens. New demonstration grants will focus on improving transportation systems, with funding support provided by Toyota Motor North America, and housing choice design competitions.

Iowa's eight 2023 grantees are listed below:

  • American Legion John White Post 650 – Funds will be used to create a Veterans Memorial in Tower Park in Epworth.

  • City of Graettinger Pickleball courts will be installed at Citizens Park in Graettinger.

  • Ely Public Library – Funds will be used to purchase four virtual reality devices with an emphasis on introducing older adults to the technology for education and entertainment.

  • Logan Public Library – Underutilized lawn space will be turned into an accessible public area with the addition of a covered gazebo, seating, and an ADA-accessible picnic table.

  • Des Moines South Side Library – This project will increase accessibility for older library patrons by providing large print keyboards, magnification tools, and mobility aids.

  • Wilton Public Library – Funds will be used to improve existing garden space by developing a sensory area for all ages, providing shade and storage, and increasing comfortable seating. Master gardeners will help guide planting, with the aim of growing produce.

  • Chariton Free Public Library – Land adjacent to the library will be transformed into an accessible gathering space and sensory garden, which will be open year-round and offer educational events on gardening, wildlife, and nature appreciation.

  • Johnson County Livable Community Housing Action Team – This project aims to help educate the public on the benefits of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) as a housing option. Design competitions will be held at county events where attendees will use building bricks and jumbo blocks to create their own ADU designs.

View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at aarp.org/communitychallenge and learn more about AARP’s livable communities work at aarp.org/livable.

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

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