MADISON, WI – Today, AARP announced that projects in eight Wisconsin communities, including Elkhorn, Green Bay, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Monticello, Spring Valley and West Allis, will receive 2024 AARP Community Challenge grants totaling a combined $102,000.

The grants are part of AARP’s largest investment in communities to date with $3.8 million awarded among 343 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement quick-action projects that help communities become more livable by improving public places; transportation; housing; digital connections; and more, with an emphasis on the needs of adults ages 50 and older.

“AARP Wisconsin is committed to working with local leaders, advocates and policymakers to make our communities better places to live for Wisconsinites of all ages, especially those 50 and older,” said AARP Wisconsin State Director Martha Cranley. “We are proud to collaborate with this year’s grantees as they make immediate improvements to address long-standing and emerging challenges across our communities.”

The eight grant winners in Wisconsin include:

Elkhorn – The Elkhorn Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Center will receive a $20,000 grant to create an adult-focused, dementia-friendly park in their downtown business district to provide socialization and critically-needed infrastructure for older adults.

Green Bay – Oneida Nation will receive a $20,000 grant to create a landscaped garden for growing medicinal plants traditional to the Oneida Nation. Signage in the garden will describe each plants importance, history, and use. Community elders will harvest the plants for social and medicinal purposes.

Kenosha – Kenosha Area Family & Aging Services, Inc. will receive a $15,000 grant to boost its Senior and Veteran Home Program. This program helps older residents to remain living in their own homes as long as possible by assessing and completing necessary repairs that will address safety and accessibility issues.

La Crosse – The City of La Crosse will receive a $19,800 grant to launch an accessory dwelling unit design competition to promote affordable residential development with a focus on older adults’ housing needs. Winning designs will serve as models for ADU construction, expediting the approval process for homeowners.

Milwaukee – The Dominican Center will receive an $8,500 grant to enable the city’s Amani neighborhood to install a beautiful traffic-calming planter in an effort to increase safety in an area where vehicle and pedestrian safety is at risk.

Monticello – The Green County Development Corporation will receive a $13,700 grant to improve safety, walkability, and connectivity in the county. The funds will help catalyze the development of secure and welcoming environments in rural communities.

Spring Valley – Spring Valley Seniors Staying Put Inc. will receive a $2,500 grant to train handy volunteers in assessing fall risks in seniors’ homes and repairing or installing commonsense fixes to make their spaces safer.

West Allis – The West Allis Fire Department will use $2,500 in grant money to conduct 10 home safety inspections utilizing the AARP HomeFit guide to identify safety issues. They will install safety devices wherever necessary in these homes and conduct educational trainings for community members.

This year, AARP awarded three different grant opportunities, including flagship grants, capacity-building microgrants for improving walkability, bikeability and accessible home modifications, and demonstration grants that focus on equitable engagement to reconnect communities, housing choice design competitions and improving digital connections to endure disasters. With funding support from Toyota Motor North America, the program is increasing its investment in pedestrian safety projects that will improve streets and sidewalks, create vibrant pedestrian infrastructure, engage community

members and much more. AARP is also bolstering its investment in community resilience, rural communities, and addressing disparities.

“Whether it’s helping people access high speed internet or protecting public transit riders from rain and snow, small community projects can have a big impact on people of all ages,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. “AARP Community Challenge grantees make our commitment to creating better places to live a reality through quick, innovative solutions.”

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, with an emphasis on people ages 50 and older.

AARP Community Challenge grant projects will be funded in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Projects must be completed by December 15, 2024. 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.

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