Age-Friendly Community Grant Applications Now Open
Thursday, February 3, 2022
AARP is now accepting applications for its Community Challenge Grant program.
This year's focus is to increase investments in projects boosting diversity and inclusion, and helping local communities recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Todd Stubbendieck, state director for AARP Nebraska, said he hopes to see project proposals for previously overlooked neighborhoods.
"It's about making our communities more livable for all," Stubbendieck explained. "Making sure that we're not leaving behind neighborhoods that often have been underserved, that do have diversity and multicultural audiences in them."
Stubbendieck pointed out the aim is to make communities more user-friendly for residents of all ages and backgrounds, by making it easier to access medical appointments, cultural activities, grocery stores and green spaces. Applications will be accepted through March 22 for projects that can be completed by Nov. 30 of this year.
Now in its sixth year, the grant program is part of AARP's nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live.
"We believe that communities should provide safe, walkable streets, affordable and accessible housing, transportation options, good vibrant public spaces," Stubbendieck outlined. "And what's great is that our local communities know what they need to make themselves better."
Since 2017, AARP has awarded more than 800 grants to nonprofits and government entities, including 13 in Nebraska. Recent projects included improvements to a community garden in Lincoln and walking trails in Hebron, and the creation of a vibrant public space in north Omaha. Stubbendieck added some quick and high-impact efforts required just a few hundred dollars.
"Since 2017, the average grant has been about $11,500, and 76% of the grants have been under $15,000," Stubbendieck reported. "The largest grant has been at the $50,000 range."
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