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AARP Wyoming Seeking Projects to Help Improve Communities

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Monday, February 6, 2023   

AARP Wyoming is putting out the call for creative projects to help improve communities, whether by creating new public transportation and housing options or by increasing diversity, inclusion and civic engagement.

Stella Montano, state president of AARP Wyoming, said the 2023 Community Challenge grant program will provide significant funding for projects to benefit everyone in the community, including those age 50 and older.

"This grant program is to make communities more livable for people of all ages," Montano explained. "With tangible improvements that jump-start long-term change."

Previous grants have helped improve safety and access to the Sheridan Food Forest, which makes fresh fruits and vegetables available to the public. In Casper, a grant helped pave the way for a safer and more convenient bus stop behind an east-side grocery store.

Grant applications will be accepted through March 15. Proposals should be close to shovel-ready, because projects must be completed by Nov. 30.

One new feature of the Community Challenge, now in its seventh year, will be capacity-building microgrants, which Montano noted provides an opportunity to combine resources with nonprofits for projects to make public places more accessible.

"Maybe improving walkability in community gardens," Montano outlined. "Help to build walkways, or raise beds, or areas where people that have mobility issues could still garden, and be able to be out in that open space."

Grants range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to tens of thousands of dollars for larger projects. Montano pointed out making improvements could be as simple as building a bus stop shelter at a senior center, which can make a lot of difference on cold Wyoming days.

"Sometimes when it said it's zero, but with the wind chill it's (minus) 19. Well, if you can get out of that wind chill, it's a little bit better," Montano stressed. "Many people in senior housing don't have vehicles. We don't really have taxis in rural areas."

Disclosure: AARP Wyoming contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Housing/Homelessness, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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