AARP ND Selects Devils Lake Park District for 2022 Community Challenge Grant

Editor Special to Devils Lake Journal

NORTH DAKOTA – On July 11, AARP North Dakota announced that Devils Lake Park District was selected to receive a $15,000 2022 AARP Community Challenge grant – one of four grantees chosen statewide.

The grant will be used to create an urban fishing pond to provide an easily accessible, public fishing spot for the community. The pond will be located on the northeast corner of Devils Lake near the city’s assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and senior living. The pond will be stocked with fish by the ND Game and Fish each year, and will include benches, a walking path, and a handicap accessible fishing pier.

Terry Wallace, the Superintendent of Devils Lake Park District says, “we’re excited to provide a fishing pond in Devils Lake for youth and seniors who don’t have access of getting to the lake to go fishing.”

This project is part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.4 million awarded among 260 organizations nationwide. AARP ND has provided 19 grants and $147,096 across North Dakota since 2017. Grantees will implement quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long-term by improving public places; transportation; housing; diversity, equity and inclusion; digital access; and civic engagement, with an emphasis on the needs of adults age 50 and over.

With this grantee class, AARP is bolstering its investment of affordable and adaptable housing solutions in response to the national housing crisis. With additional funding support from Toyota Motor North America, the program is also increasing its support of projects that improve mobility innovation and transportation options.

All projects are expected to be completed by November 30, 2022, and are designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

Create vibrant public places by improving open spaces and parks and activating main streets.

Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options by increasing connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, and access a wider range of transportation choices.

Encourage the availability of a range of housing by increasing accessible and affordable housing solutions.

Ensure a focus on diversity and inclusion while improving the built and social environment of a community.

Support communities’ efforts to build engagement and leverage funding available under new federal programs through laws including the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and more

Increase Civic Engagement with innovative and tangible projects that bring residents and local leaders together to address challenges and facilitate a greater sense of inclusion.

Other community improvements, including Health Services, Community Development, and Coronavirus Pandemic Recovery.

“We are incredibly excited to support the Devils Lake Park District as they work to make immediate improvements, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change in Devils Lake, North Dakota,” shared AARP ND State Director, Josh Askvig. “Our goal at AARP ND is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities.”

Other North Dakota grantees include the Bis-Man Transit in Bismarck, the Hazen Public Library in Hazen, and the New Rockford Park District in New Rockford. The full list of grantees can be found at aarp.org/communitychallenge.

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 ND has awarded 19 grants and $147,096 through the program to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the state. View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at www.aarp.org/communitychallenge and learn more about AARP’s livable communities work at aarp.org/livable

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.