Today, June 30, 2023, AARP in The Virgin Islands announced one organization in the Territory will receive the 2023 Community Challenge Grant – 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 age 50 and older.
Here in the Virgin Islands, the Grantee is the VI Trail Alliance and Partners, and the project funded is the Adventure Nature Trail improvements resulting in new features, including a restored pavilion, benches, picnic tables, and signs identifying tree species and describing the area’s history. The park enhancement will serve all residents with an emphasis on people over the age of 50.
“AARP in The Virgin Islands is committed to working with local leaders to improve residents’ quality of life through tangible changes,” said AARP-VI State Director. “We are proud to collaborate with this year’s grantee to make immediate improvements in the communities to jumpstart long-term change, especially for Virgin Islanders 50 and over.”
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 aged 50 and older. Since 2017, AARP in The Virgin Islands has awarded grants and $113,500 through the program to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the Territory.