AARP Wisconsin: Six Wisconsin communities win AARP Challenge Grants

Contact: Jim Flaherty, Communications Director
Office 608/ 286-6308 – Cell 608/ 698-0928, [email protected]

More than $3.2 million in projects across the country are funded through 2021 Community Challenge grants

MADISON, WI – Six organizations located in the Wisconsin communities of
Green Bay, Appleton, La Crosse, Madison, Ashland, and Chilton are among 244
projects across the country that will receive 2021 Community Challenge grants
totaling more than $3.2 million this year, AARP Wisconsin State Director Sam
Wilson announced today.

AARP Wisconsin will distribute nearly $88,000 to these six grantees, which are
among those that are developing “quick-action” projects across all 50 states,
Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each project will help
communities make immediate improvements while jumpstarting long-term
progress to support residents of all ages.

“All the Wisconsin communities chosen as grant winners this year showed high
levels of creativity, innovation and a desire to help their residents live comfortably
and age with dignity in their own cities, towns and villages,” said AARP
Wisconsin State Director Sam Wilson.

Grantees in Wisconsin and across the country will implement quick-action
projects to promote livable communities by improving housing, transportation,
public spaces, civic engagement, and connection with family, friends, and
neighbors with an emphasis on the needs of the 50-plus.

Many of this year’s awards support revitalizing communities adversely impacted
by the pandemic and include a focus on diversity, inclusion, and disparities.
This is the fifth year of the Community Challenge Grant. Wisconsin communities
that have received these grants in previous years include: Oconomowoc, La
Crosse, Ashland, Sheboygan, Milwaukee, Deer Park, Goodman, Gays Mill,
Bayfield, Beaver Dam, Berlin, Ellsworth, Greendale, Sheboygan, Cuba City, and

“We are incredibly proud to partner with Wisconsin’s grantees as they work to
make immediate improvements in their communities, encourage promising
ideas and jumpstart long-term change,” Wilson said. “Our goal at AARP
Wisconsin is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for
people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities and the coronavirus pandemic
has only underscored the importance of this work.

All projects are expected to be completed by November 10, 2021. Here in
Wisconsin, projects funded include:

Appleton:  Creative Downtown Appleton, Inc. – A $20,836 grant will help the
organization create a new parklet equipped with solar lights, art, a bike rack and
a hand sanitizer station will provide accessible public seating on College Avenue.

Ashland:  City of Ashland – A $10,000 grant will enable the city to install
Victorian-style wooden benches – decorated by local artists – in the city’s

Chilton:  Chilton Public Library – A StoryWalk® is a fun, educational activity
through which the pages of a children’s book are posted along a popular walking
route. An $18,911 grant will be used to install bilingual stories at walkable
locations around the community.

Green Bay:  The Farmory – A $15,000 grant will go toward the installation of an
indoor aquaponics system that will allow for the growth and harvesting of fresh
food year round.

La Crosse:  City of La Crosse Planning Department – Volunteers will
participate in walking tours to assess accessibility and make location
recommendations for the installation of ramps using an $11,060 grant.

Madison: City of Madison – An underused path between a community school
and park will be remodeled into a welcoming gateway with solar lighting, native
plants, wayfinding signage and accessible seating, thanks to a $12,000 grant.

The Community Challenge 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.
View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at  and learn more about AARP’s livable communities work at .


AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare,
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