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Small Grants, Large Impact — AARP Community Challenge Grants Now Open for Applications

Posted on 02/20/19

AARP Montana Announces the 2019 AARP Community Challenge Grant Program to Help Make Communities Better for All Ages 

AARP is now accepting applications for the 2019 Community Challenge grant program to fund “quick-action” projects that spark change in local communities. The grant program, which is now in its third year, is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which aims to make communities great places to live for everyone.

The Community Challenge is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits and government entities. Other types of organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Grants can range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to several thousand for larger projects. The program will accept applications in the following categories for 2019:

  • Demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities.” This new category in 2019 will encourage communities to develop and implement innovative programs that engage residents in accessing, understanding, and using data to increase quality of life for all. The intention with this category is to encourage applicants to demonstrate new ways to engage in decision-making about housing, transportation, economic development, placemaking, infrastructure, or other community aspect.
  • Deliver a range of transportation and connectivity options in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that increase walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements
  • Create vibrant public places in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that activate open spaces, improve parks and improve access to amenities
  • Support the availability of a range of housing in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that increase accessible and affordable housing options
  • 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.”

Since 2017, AARP has awarded 217 grants through the Community Challenge to nonprofit organizations and government entities representing every state and U.S. territories. Please visit http://bit.ly/2018ChallengeWinners to see some of the 2018 winners in action, helping to revitalize alleyways, build dog parks, enliven underutilized public spaces and improve unsafe intersections.

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

Browning: Blackfeet Eagle Shield Center. A $10,000 grant awarded for providing fencing, trees, flowers and canopy swings in order to create an outdoor space that can facilitate story-telling and socializing on Blackfeet Native American tribal land.

Helena: Bike Walk Montana. A $10,000 grant awarded to fund a transportable demonstration kit to educate people about bicycle lanes, parklets, roundabouts, crosswalks and other transportation safety initiatives.

Missoula: Missoula Parks & Recreation. A $10,000 grant awarded to improve public health in the city by supporting the Rx Trails Program with new signage, mile markers, benches and maps.

“These past grants enabled Blackfeet Eagle Shield Center, Bike Walk Montana and Missoula Parks & Recreation 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 Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 11:59 p.m. ET, and all projects must be completed by Monday, November 4, 2019. Applications must be submitted through AARP.org/CommunityChallenge.

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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