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Four Minnesota Communities Awarded AARP Community Challenge Grants

Posted on 07/17/19 by Carla Zbacnik

Communities across Minnesota are working each and every day to become more livable for residents of all ages. In support of that work, AARP is excited to be able to provide funding to organizations through the AARP Community Challenge, now in its third year. These “quick action” grants are being distributed to 159 organizations, with at least one in every state, Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, includingfour right here in Minnesota.

The Community Challenge grants fund innovative projects that can inspire change in areas such as transportation, open spaces, housing, smart cities and more.

The Community Challenge is part of AARP’s nationwide work on livable communities, which supports the efforts of neighborhoods, towns, cities and counties across the country to become great places for all residents. We believe that communities should provide safe, walkable streets; affordable and accessible housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community life.

After funding 217 projects between 2017 and 2018, AARP has increased its investment to nearly $1.6 million for the 159 projects this year. Here in Minnesota, we are excited about the work that the four Community Challenge Grants are supporting. In Northfield, FiftyNorth/Age Friendly Northfield will develop the "Red Chair Project," placing mobile seating for those in need at various outdoor events in their community. The Hamline Midway Coaliting in St. Paul will engage with residents to assess and garner feedback in their creation of permanent solutions to increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, and access between a busy shopping center and transit. Also addressing walkability and bikability, Get Fit Itasca in Grand Rapids will create a focal point for non-motorized transportation around the newly installed pedestrian bridge that crosses the Mississippi River. Landscaping, lighting, artwork, and trail maps will also be added to increase livability and vibrancy. Finally, the YMCA at The Cora McCorvey Center near North Minneapolis will develop an outdoor walking program to encourage safe winter activites and will include snowshoes and walking poles.

To learn more about the work being funded by the AARP Community Challenge both here in Minnesota as well as across the nation, visit aarp.org/CommunityChallenge. And to learn more about how AARP is working to make communities across Minnesota and across the U.S. more livable for all residents, visit aarp.org/livable.

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