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Age-Friendly Projects Coming to Fruition in Kentucky

Louisville used grant money from AARP to improve safety along the Ninth Street Corridor. (Ken Lund/Flickr)
Louisville used grant money from AARP to improve safety along the Ninth Street Corridor.
(Ken Lund/Flickr)
December 3, 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Three Kentucky cities are seeing their ideas to improve livability come to fruition.

Danville, Louisville and Lexington were awarded more than $25,000 combined in grants from the 2018 AARP Community Challenge grant program.

The money was to be used on quick action projects, which Rita Morrow, a volunteer with AARP Kentucky, explains are part of the organization's work to create age-friendly infrastructure across the United States.

"So that the residents get the most out of where they live, no matter what the age,” she says. “Ultimately, the vision is for a future in which urban, suburban and rural communities are all communities that are great for all ages."

In Danville, 1,000 residents helped to create the first community mural in the downtown area.

Lexington developed a manual to encourage the construction of accessory dwelling units, which allow loved ones to live near an adult in need of in-home support.

And Louisville just cut the ribbon on its grant project on Friday, which improved safety and access to green and artistic places along the Ninth Street Corridor.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says the project includes upgrades to sidewalks, curbs, benches and art, and really helps to connect the downtown area to the western part of the city.

"The citizens around the project feel like they've been heard,” Fischer says. “It's really important that people see that all parts of the city are being invested in and that all citizens feel like they're connected to a bright and hopeful future. And so projects like this make that happen."

Morrow adds the grants are very beneficial in jump starting ideas and projects, and notes that in places such as Louisville, efforts will continue to create age-friendly cities.

"We actually went out into the various communities to talk about what people wanted to see,” she relates. “Housing, mobility and access, social participation, respect and inclusion, community support and health services. So those are the four domains that we are focusing on."

This year, 129 projects nationwide were awarded in total $1.3 million from the AARP Community Challenge grant program.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - KY