Now in its fifth year, the AARP Community Challenge Grant funds innovative projects that inspire change in areas such as transportation, public spaces, housing, diversity and inclusion, civic engagement, coronavirus response and more. This year, grants were awarded to four local organizations in the District of Columbia.

Among this year’s recipients is DC Greens, whose mission is to advance health equity by building a just and resilient food system. With the assistance of the AARP Community Challenge Grant, DC Greens is constructing The Well at Oxon Run Park, which will provide a wide array of community-envisioned, culturally-relevant programming.         .

Since 2009, DC Greens has partnered with residents, community leaders and local officials in Ward 8 to create community- and systems-level change. The Well at Oxon Run Park is a continuation of this work. It will serve as an agricultural center     , performing arts space, outdoor classroom, and community gathering space that increases social connections and addresses resource gaps experienced by older adults in Ward 8. DC Greens will lead diverse programming at The Well to encourage social engagement through art, gardening, storytelling, and more.

Ward 8 has the District’s highest rates of food insecurity, poverty, diabetes, pre-diabetes, and hypertension, as well as a lack of grocery stores. To combat this, The Well will provide nutrition education, referrals to local health non-profits, and diabetes prevention-and-intervention services..

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Well at Oxon Run Park is planned for spring 2022. See you there!

To learn more about the work being funded by the AARP Community Challenge both here in the District of Columbia as well as across the nation, visit aarp.org/CommunityChallenge. You can also view an interactive map of all the Community Challenge projects and AARP DC’s livable communities work at aarp.org/livable.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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