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Grant Program Seeking Ideas to Make Communities Age-Friendly

The AARP Community Challenge grant is seeking proposals that make places such as parks vibrant places for people of all ages. (Mediteraneo/adobe stock)
The AARP Community Challenge grant is seeking proposals that make places such as parks vibrant places for people of all ages. (Mediteraneo/adobe stock)
February 17, 2020

SALEM, Ore. -- Communities around Oregon have a chance to fund quick action projects that bring people of all ages together.

The AARP Community Challenge grant program is calling for ideas that improve people's lives and can be completed in a few months. It's the program's fourth year.

Last year, the City of Salem's Center 50-plus received $17,000 to provide summer pop-ups around the city.

Marilyn Daily-Blair, manager of Center 50+ in Salem, says her organization had tents where people of all ages painted, learned the history of local railways and more.

"We had a two-year-old sitting alongside an 80-year-old making jewelry, and that doesn't always happen," she relates. "We really made an effort to bring generations together."

Center 50-plus is a community center for older Salem residents.

The Community Challenge program prioritizes ideas that create vibrant public spaces, transportation and mobility options and supports a range of housing choices.

This year, AARP also is focusing on proposals that bring residents together for a greater sense of inclusion in the community.

Daily-Blair says thanks to the success of the grant-funded pilot last year, Center 50-plus's pop-up program is coming back to Salem this year.

"It definitely plants seeds for long-term program delivery," she states. "It's not a one-time shot. It really does allow you to try things in the future and grow them."

The application deadline is April 1. Projects that are chosen for the grant funding must be completed by Nov. 9.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR