AARP Livable Communities recently announced the winners of the third annual AARP Community Challenge Grants. Nationwide, a total of $1.6 million was distributed to fund a record 159 projects, including four in King County:
- Pike Market Food Bank will help spruce up the Pike Market Food Bank with directional signage making it easier for individuals with disabilities and hundreds of low-income and senior residents to access the space. This proposal was supported by results of two Age Friendly Seattle walkability audits of Pike Place Market last year (photo at top from June 2018).
- Pike Place Market Foundation will upgrade volunteer-run space that provides produce to the Pike Market Food Bank, increasing its capacity for production and accessibility for all.
- Rebuilding Together Seattle will help the Southeast Seattle Senior Center increase visibility, increase ADA-compliant parking, and engage and connect a diverse range of community members.
- Sound Generations will partner with Hopelink on educational efforts to help those in need understand and access a variety of transportation options, which will increase independence and mobility leading to enhanced social engagement.
The AARP Community Challenge grant program is part of the nationwide AARP Livable Communities initiative that helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. The program is intended to help communities make immediate improvements and jump-start long-term progress in support of residents of all ages.
Each of the 159 funded projects is designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:
- Create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks, and access to other amenities.
- Demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” by engaging residents and policymakers in accessing, understanding, and using data to increase quality of life for all.
- Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bike-ability, wayfinding, access to transportation options, and roadway improvements.
- Support the availability of a range of housing that increases accessible and affordable housing options.
Each project must be completed by November 4, 2019.
In 2018, the AARP Community Challenge Grant funded 129 projects across the nation, including a Seattle Neighborhood Greenways project and one in Port Orchard, Washington. In 2017, the program’s first year, 88 projects received funding, including the “A City for All” civic technology hackathon that helped inform Age Friendly Seattle planning and a National PARK(ing) Day installation in Renton, Washington.
For more information about AARP Community Challenge Grants, visit www.aarp.org/livable-communities/community-challenge. For information about local AARP activities, visit www.aarp.org/seattle and www.aarp.org/washington.