AARP Community Challenge announces 159 grantees, including five Colorado recipients

Recipients were Granby Chamber of Commerce, Mesa County Public Library District, Lake City DIRT, City of Leadville and Town of Paonia 

AARP announced the awardees for its 2019 AARP Community Challenge grant program, including five recipients in right here in Colorado.A total of nearly $1.6 million will be distributed to fund 159 “quick action” projects across the country, helping communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages. Nearly 1,700 applications were received from non-profits and government entities for the program, now in its third year. Each of the projects, which must be completed by Nov. 4, is designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.
  • Demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” by engaging residents and policymakers in accessing, understanding and using data to increase quality of life for all.
  • Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements.
  • Support the availability of a range of housing that increases accessible and affordable housing options.

Here in Colorado, grantees include: 

  • Granby: Granby Chamber of Commerce
    Intergenerational artists will beautify the town’s main street by creating a series of unique artistic murals.
  • Grand Junction: Mesa County Public Library District
    This project will enhance inter-generational engagement by improving the Discovery Garden with comfortable and safe walking trails and places to sit and enjoy the surroundings. 
  • Lake City: Lake City DIRT
    Electricity and lighting will be added to a pavilion in a public park frequently used for gatherings and events.
  • Leadville: City of Leadville
    To activate a downtown park space that has been neglected and underutilized for many years, the city will host listening sessions with the community and install new seating and a fire pit.
  • Paonia: Town of Paonia
    An underutilized pocket park will be improved with new lighting, a “conversation circle” with tables and benches where residents can gather in a friendly social space, and other improvements to increase access for those with limited mobility issues.

“Our congratulations and thanks go out to all the grantees for the work they do to improve their local communities,” said AARP Colorado State Director Bob Murphy. “The fact that Colorado received five of these very competitive grants is testimony to the tremendous amount of innovative work being done in communities throughout the state.”

The full list of grantees can be found at

“AARP has teams on the ground in communities across the country who hear from mayors, community leaders and local residents about the value of getting quick wins to create long-term change. We developed the Community Challenge grant program to answer that call and help build momentum for more livable communities nationwide,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President, Community, State and National Affairs. “This year, we are proud to fund more projects in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.”

The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. As part of this, AARP staff and volunteers are working across the country, engaging and mobilizing residents, delivering technical assistance and expertise to local leaders and organizations, and supporting the work of the 381 communities and four states that have enrolled in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.  

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