AARP awards ten grants to make Florida cities more livable

AARP is awarding nearly $158,000 in Community Challenge Grants to ten Florida organizations that focus their efforts on creating livable spaces for people of all ages and abilities in cities and neighborhoods.

The Council on Aging of West Florida received a $50,000 Community Challenge grant, the largest awarded in the state this year, and will use the funds to build two “tiny houses.” One house will be a new home for a low income senior and the other will be used as a model home.

Two Miami organizations – Friends of The Underline and Transit Alliance Miami – received grants of $20,000. The first will use the funds to expand Miami’s Walk4Life club into downtown Miami. The My Transit My City project will provide lessons and technical support to seniors and people with disabilities on how to use the county’s redesigned bus system.

Grace Arts near Ft. Lauderdale received $12,500. The money will be used for a giant fabric lampshade for the Victoria Park area.

All projects must be completed by November 30, 2022.

“AARP Florida is committed to working with communities to improve the quality of life for residents through tangible change. We are proud to partner with this year’s recipients as they make immediate improvements in their communities to initiate long-term change in the Sunshine State, especially for Floridians over the age of 50,” said the director. from AARP Florida State. Jeff Johnson in a prepared statement.

AARP announced in January that it was accepting applications for the Community Challenge 2022 grant program.

Rapid Action Grants are for projects to be funded in all 50 states, Washington, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

A panel of AARP experts in aging and community design reviewed the nominations. The goal was to provide funding to organizations and cities that could immediately use the money on projects that could make permanent, long-term changes to help residents age in place.

AARP supports aging-in-place initiatives because they help keep people out of care settings such as nursing homes.

Aging in Place requires built environments where streets are designed and planned to maintain accessible, convenient and safe travel for people of all ages and abilities, concepts promoted by the Department of Transportation through the Complete streets program.

To that end, AARP awarded the City of Tampa $7,500 to build a trail connecting Linebaugh Avenue and senior apartments to the Takomah Trail Park walking loop. A Tallahassee-based group called 2-1-1 Big Bend received a $15,000 grant to make rides available across the county for residents age 50 or older.

Other grant recipients include:

— Dunedin Public Library: $6,200 to add youuniversal access picnic tables at the library play area and create a “history walk” with signs explaining the town’s history and other distinctions.

— Walton County Board of County Commissioners: A $9,000 play area will be created at the Coastal Branch Library on an existing yard or green space. It will include a table tennis table, a cornhole game and a checkers/chess table.

— Tampa Carrollwood Cultural Center: $6,350 to help art lovers who are blind or visually impaired. The money will help hire audio-descriptors and install an assistive listening system for the center’s theatre, dance and art offerings. Multimedia group Blind Visionaries will perform and a touch and sound art exhibit will be staged.

— Wilton Manors Three Bridges Neighborhood Association: $11,250 to improve the aesthetic appeal of Coral Gardens Park by installing new lighting, plants and a small free library. Grant funds will also be used for a name change contest and block party.

Last updated June 29, 2022

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