Hettinger, Buxton and Grand Forks are the recipients of a 2018 AARP Community Challenge grant. A total of $1.3 million will be distributed to fund 129 “quick action” projects across the country, helping communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages.

Nearly 1,600 applications, including 26 from North Dakota, were received from non-profits and government entities for the program, now in its second year.

North Dakota communities receiving grants this year are:  

Hettinger Area Chamber of Commerce to create a more vibrant public space in the community by purchasing and installing several outdoor games in the community plaza to foster social connections among people of all ages.

Buxton Park Board to help support the renovation of a public park to include the addition of playground equipment and a shelter.

City of Grand Forks for a pop-up demonstration project at the corners of 3rd and DeMers and 3rd and Kittson to include safety enhancements and other additions to make Grand Forks’ main street safer and more inviting for walkers and bicyclists.

“It’s important for North Dakota communities of all sizes to make enhancements that make their communities more livable for people of all ages. AARP is willing to work with North Dakota communities and we have the tools and resources to help our communities become even better places to live,” said AARP North Dakota State Director Josh Askvig.

Each of the projects, which must be completed by November 5, is designed to achieve on one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.
  • Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, and/or access to public and private transit.
  • Support the availability of a range of housing that increases accessible and affordable housing options.
  • Address other issues of importance for communities.