Last week, the Washington, DC-based AARP announced the awardees for its 2018 AARP Community Challenge grant program, two came from the Ocean State. According to AARP, a total of $1.3 million will be distributed to fund 129 “quick action” projects across the country, helping these communities make immediate improvements and jump start long-term progress to support residents of all ages. Now in its second year, 1,600 applications were received from non-profits and government entities for the initiative.
Each of the projects, which must be completed by November 5, is designed to achieve three outcomes. First, the project should deliver a range of transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, and/or access to public and private transit. Second, the project should create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities. Finally, the project should support he availability of a range of housing that increases accessible and affordable housing options.
The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative that helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. AARP staff and volunteers are working with roughly 300 communities across the country, engaging and mobilizing community residents, delivering technical assistance and expertise to local leaders and organizations, and supporting the work of the 275 communities and two states that have enrolled in the AARP Network of Age Friendly States and Communities. AARP also provides resources and publications to encourage local action such as the Roadmap to Livability and the AARP book-series Where We Live: Communities for All Ages.
Rhode Island Winners
The City of East Providence will use its grant to install five park benches and game tables, and replace the tops and benches of two existing picnic tables in the Central Avenue Park. At Rhode Island College, in Providence, its grant will educate community residents on how to install applications and use ride-sourcing services through bi-weekly education sessions and safety education with the community police department.
“AARP has teams on the ground in communities across the country who hear from mayors, community leaders and local residents about the value of getting quick wins to create long-term change. We developed the Community Challenge Grant Program to answer that call and help build momentum for more livable communities nationwide,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer in a statement announcing the grant recipients. “This year, we are proud to fund more projects in more communities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico,.” said LeaMond.
“We are thrilled East Providence and Rhode Island College Foundation have been recognized and we are confident the work the grants enable will improve the lives of many Rhode Islanders,” said AARP Rhode Island State Director Kathleen Connell. “The winning selections were among many outstanding and worthy submissions representing Livable Communities engagement and activities we honor and support.” she adds.
To learn more about AARP’s livable communities work in communities across the country and the AARP Community Challenge, please visit www.aarp.org/livable<http://www.aarp.org/livable.