We’re excited to announce that five organizations throughout Wisconsin will receive a combined $62,300 in 2022 Community Challenge grants – part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.4 million awarded among 260 organizations nationwide.
Grantees in Wisconsin and across the country will implement quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long-term by improving public places; transportation; housing; diversity, equity & inclusion; digital access; and civic engagement, with an emphasis on the needs of adults age 50 and over.
In Wisconsin, grants will be awarded to two organizations in Milwaukee and one each in La Crosse, Viroqua, and Bayfield. Here are details of each project:
The City of Milwaukee Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation’s Healing Spaces Initiative (HSI) – Will receive $25,000 to repurpose vacant lots into vibrant public spaces for rest, relaxation and community gatherings for activities such as yoga sessions or health workshops. The spaces will be used by those age 50-plus and others in support of ecological, economic, and public health benefits.
Milwaukee Turners, Inc. – Will receive a $15,000 grant to fund a series of offerings that will encourage community engagement, physical movement and healthy eating habits for older adults. Participants will have the opportunity to go on walking tours in three diverse Milwaukee neighborhoods, culminating in cooking demonstrations for healthy simple meals, using ingredients found in the neighborhood, with the goal of encouraging healthy movement and eating habits.
La Crosse Public Library – Will receive a $10,000 grant for its Tool Library Project, which will give patrons the opportunity to check out home improvement and gardening tools. The Tool Library will also provide educational opportunities and a space to share and grow community knowledge. The project was proposed to enable community members to start making their own repairs in the wake of rising home prices.
McIntosh Memorial Library – Will receive a $10,000 grant to install a bird aviary at the library in Viroqua. The reading and gathering area inside the library will be redesigned to make the aviary they centerpiece of the space. Bird-watching stimulates cognitive alertness and awareness of details. It relieves stress and soothes anxiety for those with cognitive challenges.
Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands – Will receive a $2,300 grant to install a bike parking facility at Beaver Hollow, a popular community nature area, to accommodate and encourage bicycles as a healthy transportation option to access this outdoor recreation area frequented by older adults in the Bayfield area.
The grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages.
Wisconsin communities that have received these grants in previous years include: Appleton, Ashland, Bayfield, Beaver Dam, Berlin, Chilton, Cuba City, Deer Park, Ellsworth, Gays Mills, Green Bay, Greendale, Goodman, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Oconomowoc, Sheboygan, and Spooner.
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 Wisconsin. Visit the AARP Wisconsin page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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