PROMO 660 x 440 Miscellaneous - Community Words Help Collaboration Teamwork Support - iStock - EtiAmmos

Money available to help improve communities

© iStock - EtiAmmos
Eric Galatas

Click play to listen to this article.

Audio file

(Colorado News Connection) AARP Colorado is putting out the call for creative projects that help improve entire communities, especially those age 50 and older, for this year's Community Challenge grant program. 

Associate State Director Marissa Volpe said they're looking for projects large and small that help make communities more liveable. 

For example, she said establishing a community garden in a neighborhood considered to be a food desert - where access to healthy vegetables is limited - checks a lot of boxes.

PROMO 660 x 440 Community - Color Paper Words - iStock


"We know that there are health benefits to being outside, to working in the soil," said Volpe, "and really connecting to others through that process. Folks will donate that food to food pantries, so there's even a sense of service."

This year's grants will range from $2,500 all the way up to $50,000 - for projects that can be completed by December 15. 

Eligible nonprofit organizations, government entities, and other types of groups can submit their application before 3 p.m. March 6, at

Since 2017, AARP has invested over $16 million in nearly 1,400 - including 25 to the tune of $303,000 here in Colorado. 

Volpe said there is an emphasis this year to get resources to communities that have traditionally been left behind.

"We want to get resources to those working closest on solutions," said Volpe, "because we really believe they are the experts in their community - in those communities that have historically been under-represented in these kinds of grants."

Microgrants support smaller projects including webinars, for example, on how to modify homes to make them more accessible. 

Medium sized grants can help improve digital connections, such as preparing for and responding to wildfires, flash floods or other emergencies. 

Larger grants can help improve inclusion and civic engagement, public places, transportation, and access to affordable housing.

"Community challenge grants are part of a larger liveable communities strategy," said Volpe, "that really aims to make communities liveable, vital, and accessible for all community members of all ages."