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Grant Program Aims To Assist Idaho Communities of All Sizes

Drmccreedy/Wikimedia Commons

Applications are open for AARP's Community Challenge grant program.

The program provides funds for projects that can be produced quickly and make cities and communities more livable for people of all ages, which includes creating vibrant public spaces, increasing transportation options or, this year, supporting local recovery from the pandemic.

Randall Simon, director of communications for AARP Idaho, said the grant process is simple, in order to encourage communities of all sizes to apply.

"This isn't a long, drawn-out process," Simon explained. "This goes in, fixes a problem, supports a community and is done in a matter of months instead of years."

Now in its fifth year, the program has awarded 560 grants.

The deadline to apply is April 14. Selected projects must be completed by November 10th.

Simon noted the grants can especially be a boon for rural communities, which is why so many in Idaho have taken advantage of the program.

"An influx of thousands of dollars for a project in Kamiah is going to go further than it would in a metropolitan area like Boise," Simon observed.

In 2020, three Idaho cities received grants. The city of Cascade paved a half-mile walking trail. The grant helped Glenns Ferry open a new public space for residents. And the Gooding Public Library Foundation created an outdoor commons area.