The Washington, D.C.-based AARP announces that three New Jersey communities have made the cut, the nation’s largest aging group will distribute nearly $1.6 million among 159 grant winners developing “quick-action” projects across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S.
Virgin Islanders. Three grantees are in the Garden State. AARP had received more than 1,6660 applications for the third annual AARP Community Challenge from nonprofits and government entities, resulting in a highly competitive process.
The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable initiative, which helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. As part of this, AARP staff and volunteers are working across the country, engaging and mobilizing residents, delivering technical assistance and expertise to local leaders and organizations, and supporting the work of the 381 communities and four states that have enrolled in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.
Each project will help communities make immediate improvements while jump-starting long-term progress to support residents of all ages.
And the Winners are…
The Borough of Dunellen’s beautification project will organize the community to help build and install shade trees, benches and pollinator plants, as well as paint an existing footbridge to increase the vibrancy of a public park.
The Township of Teaneck’s project will help increase connectivity among township-sponsored activities by improving the safety conditions of Teaneck’s pedestrian walkway network and fostering healthy lifestyles for all.
Finally, the Borough of Westwood’s grant funds will go toward building a parklet to provide a safe and enjoyable area for residents to sit and relax while in the business district.
The winning projects are expected to achieve a multitude of outcomes. They will deliver a range of transportation and mobility options in the selected communities through permanent or temporary solutions that increase connectivity, walkability, bike ability and/or access to public and private transit.
Grants give to the selected communities will create a vibrant public place through permanent or temporary solutions that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities. These grants will also support the availability of a range of housing in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that increase accessible and affordable housing options.
Finally, these grants will help demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” to encourage the development and implementation of innovative decision-making and programs that engage residents in accessing, understanding, and using data to increase the quality of life for residents.
For a full-listing of grantees by state, go to www.aarp.org/livable-communities/community-challenge/info-2019/2019-grantees.html.