AARP awards six community grants in Virginia as part of nationwide program

aarpAARP announced six Virginia organizations will receive 2021 Community Challenge grants – part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.2 million awarded among 244 organizations nationwide.

Grantees 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 people 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.

“We are incredibly proud to collaborate with these organizations as they work to make immediate improvements in their communities, encourage promising ideas, and jumpstart long-term change, especially for those age 50 and over,” AARP Virginia State Director Jim Dau said. “Our goal at AARP Virginia is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities.”

All projects are expected to be completed by Nov. 10. Here in Virginia, projects funded include:

  • Arlington County Commission on Aging, in partnership with Alliance for Arlington Senior Programs, will work to raise awareness and visibility of pedestrian safety by using small, handheld “see me” flags at intersections to make pedestrians more visible to drivers.
  • Downtown Lynchburg Association will create Art Alley, a placemaking project that will transform an overlooked alley into a vibrant destination with artistic walls, doorways, and windows and an overhead creative installation.
  • Habitat for Humanity Powhatan will engage community members to explore plans to turn a historic school building into an intergenerational housing complex.
  • Powhatan County Department of Social Services Ride Assist Services will install accessible benches and make three-wheeled cruiser bicycles available to provide more mobility options and foster a greater sense of community involvement for older residents.
  • Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission’s Regional Transportation Collaborative will launch a community awareness and trust building campaign designed to help older adults and individuals with disabilities feel more comfortable when trying new mobility initiatives, accessing volunteer transportation, and utilizing mobility supports in general.
  • Venture Richmond will create a custom-designed parklet that will bring an artistic solution to Brookland Park, a neighborhood that is desperately in need of public gathering space, shade, and places to sit for people of all ages and abilities.

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.

Since 2017, AARP has awarded 804 grants and $9.3 million through the program to nonprofit organizations and government entities nationwide.

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

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