Meadow Park Initiative unveils park improvements

AARP Community Challenge grant supports multigenerational improvements to Friendship Park.

Meadow Park neighbors and community partners will gather amid the new improvements to Friendship Park to celebrate the start of the fourth year of their place-based community action.

Already a multigenerational gathering place, this year’s initiative milestone celebration features the unveiling of improvements to Friendship Park to support social connections among the neighborhood’s children, youth, and elders. The improvements include the installation of a multilingual information kiosk with bench seating and the planting of trees. These additions to the park are made possible for Meadow Park by the generous support of an AARP Community Challenge grant.

Speaking with KAAL News through her daughter Rahma (pictured left), Raho Mohamed (pictured right) said the park, "Helped her a lot because she has little kids and raising them was a lot to her, living in a small apartment. So, having this park and taking them out and having fun with them and making memories was the best thing she's ever done in her life,"

The AARP Community Challenge is a grant program to make tangible improvements to communities that jump-start long-term change. It 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.

Established in October 2018, the Meadow Park Initiative focuses on a neighborhood with significant barriers to long-term financial stability and educational attainment. Residents are leading the way in working together to make a difference in people’s lives in the neighborhood by identifying and cultivating local leadership, building meaningful connections between neighbors, and learning about residents’ hopes and dreams for the community.

Families do better when they live in a strong community with economic mobility, employment security, and self-advocacy. Since challenges such as poverty, unemployment, and housing instability tend to concentrate in areas negatively impacted by a history of disinvestment, targeted investments in these neighborhoods can develop them into the kind of place that allows families to reach their full potential.

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