AARP Wisconsin
Press Release

Two Milwaukee projects win 2020 Community Challenge grants from AARP Wisconsin

More than $2.4 million in community projects across the country are funded through AARP grant program

By - Aug 20th, 2020 10:47 am

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – Two Milwaukee organizations are among 184 across the country that will receive 2020 Community Challenge grants totaling more than $2.4 million this year, AARP Wisconsin State Director Sam Wilson announced today.

Historic King Drive Business Improvement District #8 will receive a $40,000 grant to restore a city-owned park to its original purpose of increasing opportunities for cross-generational social interactions at a safe outdoor public gathering space. This project will install a new stage with shell cover, solar bollard lighting, and ADA compliant seating.

The other grant, for $12,500, is being awarded to City of Milwaukee – MKE Parks. As part of that project, an existing reconstructed neighborhood park will be enhanced to bridge the generational gap by installing tables with built-in game boards, seating areas, a neighborhood information kiosk, and a space for socializing.

The two other Wisconsin cities that will receive 2020 Community Challenge grants are Cuba City and Spooner.

“All the Wisconsin communities chosen as grant winners this year showed high levels of creativity, innovation and a desire to help their residents live comfortably and age with dignity in their own cities, towns and villages,” Wilson said.

“These projects are designed specifically to make communities more livable for everyone, and these four grants will help accomplish that goal.”

AARP Wisconsin will distribute more than $78,000 to these four winners, which are among those that are developing “quick-action” projects across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each project will help communities make immediate improvements while jumpstarting long-term progress to support residents of all ages.

Click here for a list of all 184 2020 Community Challenge grant recipients. Other grant winners from Wisconsin include:

Spooner: Wild Rivers Habitat for Humanity: This project will create a “tool lending library” to allow homeowners with limited resources, especially those aged 50 plus, to maintain their homes.

Cuba City: City of Cuba City: As part of the city’s plan to create a community gathering place for residents of all ages, this project will further enhance an existing plaza with the installation of games, benches, planters, regular entertainment, a Wi-Fi hotspot and a new green space.

This is the fourth year of the Community Challenge Grant. Wisconsin communities that have received these grants in previous years include: Oconomowoc, La Crosse, Ashland, Sheboygan, Deer Park, Goodman, Gays Mill, Milwaukee, Bayfield, Beaver Dam, Berlin, Ellsworth, Greendale, and Sheboygan.

“We are incredibly proud to partner with Wisconsin’s grantees as they work to make immediate improvements in their communities, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change,” Wilson said.

“Our goal at AARP Wisconsin is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities and the coronavirus pandemic has only underscored the importance of this work.”

All projects are expected to be completed by December 18, 2020, and are designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Create vibrant public places by improving open spaces and parks and activating main streets.
  • Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options by increasing connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, and access a wider range of transportation choices.
  • Encourage the availability of a range of housing by increasing accessible and affordable housing solutions.
  • Increase civic engagement and demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” by bringing together local leaders and residents from all backgrounds to address challenges.
  • Support coronavirus response and recovery efforts by ensuring older adults’ access to information, essential services, and civic life.

The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages.

View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at www.aarp.org/communitychallenge and view an interactive map of all of the Community Challenge projects and AARP Wisconsin’s livable communities work at www.aarp.org/livable.

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