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    AARP Awards SIX California Organizations with Community Grants as Part of Record-Breaking Nationwide Program

    Today, AARP announced six California organizations will receive 2020 Community Challenge grants – part of the largest number of grantees to date with more than $2.4 million awarded among 184 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement “quick-action” projects to create more livable communities across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Here in California the SIX funded projects include:

    1. Circulate San Diego ($15,000): Grant funding to create educational resources for older adults, particularly the community’s large Iraqi refugee population, to help them become more comfortable using public transit, and lay the foundation for future transit use.
    2. City of San Leandro ($8,700): Grant funding to support a design charrette project that will engage students, residents, older adults and community groups on the creation of an ADA-compliant public space for gardening, education, and exploring the San Leandro Creek ecosystem.
    3. Echo Park Film Center ($5,000): Grant funding to support a project that brings older and younger adults together to share filmed experiences and stories, which will then be shared in outdoor settings.
    4. Friends of the Hayfork Park ($2,042): Grant funding to improve the Hayfork Park and Pool, an intergenerational gathering place for the community. Efforts include installing various safety and hygiene measures for those using the pool and attending the Farmers’ Market, during and after COVID-19.
    5. Los Angeles River State Park Partners ($15,185): Grant funding to support the Chinatown Health Initiative (CHI) and create a culturally responsive and inclusive green space to help bridge the gap between services, programs, and park accommodations needed by older adults in the community.
    6. United Way Monterey County: ($21,700): Grant funding to support two new affordable, accessible housing units and the development of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) workshops, digital resources, and sharing of prototype plans that will encourage increased development of ADUs throughout the community.

    “We are proud to partner with California’s grantees as they work to make immediate improvements in their communities, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change. It is also wonderful to see the range of projects, from the development of housing to age-friendly outdoor spaces,” shared Nancy McPherson, AARP California State Director. “Our goal at AARP California 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 December 18, 2020, and are designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

    • Create vibrant public places by improving open spaces and parks and activating main streets.
    • Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options by increasing connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, and access a wider range of transportation choices.
    • Encourage the availability of a range of housing by increasing accessible and affordable housing solutions.
    • Increase civic engagement and demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” by bringing together local leaders and residents from all backgrounds to address challenges.
    • Support coronavirus response and recovery efforts by ensuring older adults’ access to information, essential services, and civic life.

    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. View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at and view an interactive map of all of the Community Challenge projects and AARP California’s livable communities work at


     About AARP

    AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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