AARP Utah has announced three organizations throughout the state will receive 2023 Community Challenge grants – part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.6 million awarded among 310 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement quick-action projects that help communities become more livable by improving public places; transportation; housing; digital connections; diversity, equity and inclusion; and more, with an emphasis on the needs of adults aged 50 and older.
“AARP Utah is proud to collaborate with this year’s grantees as they execute their quick-action projects, which have the power to create lasting change and improve the quality of life for older adults, ensuring they live with the dignity and support they deserve,” said State Director Alan Ormsby. “We are eager to see the tangible changes and immediate improvements these local leaders will make in their communities, especially for Utahns 50 and over.”
Here in Utah, projects funded include:
- SLC Neighbors for More Neighbors – This grant will support a campaign to promote Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and other affordable housing options through creative concepts like a home-tour of ADUs in Salt Lake City and the promotion of an ADU design challenge.
- Epicenter (Green River, UT) – Through this grant, Epicenter will build a pavilion at Pearl Baker Parkdesigned to be accessible to older visitors, with handrails and a soft pathway surface to reduce the potential of injuries from falls.
- TreeUtah (Salt Lake City, UT) – The project aims to utilize a cadre of volunteers to plant 7500 trees statewide and create recreational opportunities for older adults in the communities in which they live and work.
AARP Community Challenge grant projects will be funded in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. True to the program’s quick-action nature, projects must be completed by November 30, 2023.
This year, the AARP Community Challenge accepted applications across three different grant opportunities, including existing flagship grants in addition to new capacity-building microgrants for improving walkability and community gardens. New demonstration grants will focus on improving transportation systems, with funding support provided by Toyota Motor North America, and housing choice design competitions.
AARP is also bolstering its investment in rural communities, mobility innovation, transportation options, and health and food access.
“These grants continue to lead to long-term, positive changes in communities across the country,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. “This year, we are proud to support the largest number of projects in the program’s seven-year history, which will improve residents’ quality of life through tangible changes so everyone can thrive as they age.”
The grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages, especially those age 50 and older. Since 2017, AARP Utah has awarded 19 grants and $214,704 through the program to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the state.
View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at aarp.org/communitychallenge and learn more about AARP’s livable communities work at aarp.org/livable.