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Grants Promote “Livable Communities” in CT

AARP Community Challenge grants can help create public spaces, enhance mobility options and more. (pxhere)
AARP Community Challenge grants can help create public spaces, enhance mobility options and more. (pxhere)
August 22, 2018

HARTFORD, Conn. - Small projects to help create more livable communities across Connecticut could get a boost from a new grant program.

AARP Connecticut has expanded on a national Community Challenge program by launching an initiative to help local leaders complete creative ideas to improve their communities. According to Nora Duncan, AARP state director, the program will fund "quick action" projects that could be small, short-term activities to larger, permanent solutions.

"We're looking at transportation and mobility options, creating vibrant public spaces, supporting the availability of affordable housing, and other community improvements that help make the community livable for all," she said.

Incorporated organizations that are 501(C)(3) and 501(C)(4) nonprofits or government entities can apply for grants at aarp.org/ct.

Last year, the national program funded 88 projects around the country, including three in Connecticut. Duncan said those projects were aimed at enhancing public spaces.

"For instance," she said, "parks with beautifully painted benches by local artists so that people would have a place to sit and congregate safely, and socialize in their neighborhood."

She said the maximum size of a single grant is $2,500. Although not a huge sum of money, Duncan pointed out that many small projects can and do make a difference in people's lives.

"A park or a walkability project that was in need of a shelter space or was looking for exercise opportunities along a pathway," she said. "Things like that are affordable and can be done with this kind of dollars."

The deadline for applying for a Livable Communities grant is Sept. 24th.

More information is online at states.aarp.org.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT