BY MIKE FESTA, STATE DIRECTOR, AARP MASSACHUSETTS
On June 29, 2022, AARP Massachusetts announced that it would be awarding several organizations across the Bay State with the 2022 AARP MA Community Challenge Grants. These grantees will be implementing quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long term by improving public places, public transportation, housing, diversity, equity and inclusion, digital access and civic engagement – with an emphasis on the needs of adults age 50 and over.
Projects funded include:
- Cambridge Grantee: Cambridge Community Television – plans to deploy pop-up mobile media and technology labs throughout the city and host mini classes in computer technology and digital literacy.
- Gloucester Grantee: Backyard Growers will use the grant to fund their project that is providing residents in Senior Housing in Gloucester and surrounding communities with training and support on flexible gardening options for smaller spaces via grow bags.
- Lanesborough Grantee: Heart and Soil, who will be using their grant to fund a community produce program which supports local small farms by purchasing their produce and delivering it to community seniors with disabilities.
- Boston Grantee: The Trustees of Reservations – The Trustees will be repairing a hazardous walkway at Southwest Corridor Community farm, and four raised-bed gardens will be built for disabled gardeners at Savin & Maywood Community Garden.
- Chelmsford Grantee: Chelmsford Public Library – Indigenous people’s contributions will be acknowledged with 11 informational kiosks and five freestanding mini libraries, plus programs focusing on the arts and history.
- South Dennis Grantee: Dennis Center for Active Living – In a corner on the Center for Active Living grounds, there will be six raised-bed gardens and two ADA-compliant benches placed on a new, concrete surface.
- Westport Grantee: Westport Council on Aging – a fixed-route transportation service for older adults will be established, operating one day per week between common shopping, banking and medical destinations in this rural community.
- Worcester Grantee: MassBike – Intergenerational bicycling will be encouraged by pairing 20 teenaged cyclists with 20 older recipients in an ongoing program that awards free e-bikes. There will also be five bicycle workshops as well as group rides.
AARP Massachusetts is committed to working with communities to improve residents’ quality of life through tangible changes. We are proud to collaborate with this year’s grantees as they make immediate improvements in their communities to jumpstart long-term change, especially for Bay Staters 50 and over.
This is just part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.4 million awarded among 260 organizations nationwide. Learn more about AARP’s livable communities work at www.aarp.org/livable.