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

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

LINCOLN, NEB. (February 25, 2019) – AARP is now accepting applications through April 17 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 Nebraska from the AARP Community Challenge grant program,” said Connie Benjamin, state director of AARP Nebraska. “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.

AARP Nebraska works in collaboration with communities across the state, bringing people together and providing resources and expertise to help make Nebraska’s counties, towns and cities great places to live for people of all ages.

In the past two years, Community Challenge grants have funded four innovative Nebraska projects in Hebron, Kearney and Omaha:

* Installation of wayfinding signage and benches in Hebron for increased walkability (2017).

* Start-up capital for recruitment and training of drivers for a ride-sharing system serving Kearney residents (2017).

* Along the North 24th St. corridor, a City of Omaha project supports outdoor physical activity, active transportation and activation of public space with park-like benches at bus stops, planters for accessible gardening near senior housing and temporary, interactive art installations in a vacant lot (2018).

* ONE Omaha used its grant to host Omaha NeighborFest2018: Activating People, Places and Spaces. With an emphasis on hands-on learning, the 2018 festival featured project demonstrations, neighborhood tours, walk audits, and a variety of community-engaged local vendors and live music (2018).

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.

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