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Welcome to the AARP Vermont

Livable Community Program - Winter Placemaking 2023


The application period is open. Deadline is October 16, 2023. 


AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age with a Vermont state office located in Burlington.  We lead positive social change and deliver value to members through information, advocacy and service. Since 2006, AARP Vermont has led efforts in the state to promote livable communities for older adults to live and thrive. AARP defines a livable community as one that has affordable and appropriate housing, supportive community services, and adequate mobility options, which together facilitate personal independence and the engagement of residents in civic and social life.

AARP Vermont’s 2023 Winter Placemaking Grants will provide financial support to non-profit or other ad-hoc groups, which meet the eligibility requirements, and that are also focused on reinventing a space that improves the safety, accessibility and overall appeal and are either temporary or permanent projects.  The Placemaking Project is intended to inspire and educate community leaders and residents in their aim to have a positive impact on older adults living in your community.

We will select up to five communities for funding of up to $4,000 each.  This is a one-time opportunity with no further expectation or commitment of additional funds.

The objectives of the Winter Placemaking Projects are to help participants:

  • With a vision to create new or improve existing local efforts within the community and seek to enhance perceptions and attitudes toward community change.
  • Whose proposals recognize how placemaking and community design influence successful aging, equity and health while enhancing overall livability for those 50 plus.
  • Who can help expand resources or toolkits to provide healthier,  more vibrant public spaces during the winter months.

For inspiration and resources visit here:  https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/archives/info-2014/livable-communities-placemaking.html. Consider your community’s Livability Score by visiting AARP’s Livability Index which can be found at http://livabilityindex.aarp.org/


Eligibility: The grant program is open to organizations and grassroots ad hoc groups that are organized to make improvement in their neighborhood focused on enhancing the lives of the 50plus and that meet all eligibility requirements. Additionally, Statewide regional and local government entities and non-profit organizations located in VT are eligible to apply. Statewide and regional organizations must specify a municipality in which project activities will take place and demonstrate a commitment from local officials and collaborating organizations to participate in a community winter placemaking project in the winter of 2023-2024. Following completion of the demonstration there will be an after-action report due one month following the completion of the project. 

Eligible for funding:

  • 501 (c)(3) and 501 (c)(4) nonprofits
  • Ad hoc community group with a 501 (c)(3) and 501 (c)(4) nonprofit fiscal agent
  • Municipalities (Government Entities) as defined above
  • Must be located within the State of Vermont

AARP will not fund the following types of proposals, activities, or organizations:

  • Partisan, political or election-related activities
  • Planning activities and assessments and surveys of communities with no follow-up action
  • Publication of books or reports
  • Sponsorships of other organizations’ events or activities
  • Acquisition of land and/or buildings
  • Research and development for a for-profit endeavor
  • Individuals
  • For-profit entities and projects that promote a for-profit entity and/or its products and services.
  • Capital expenditures


Community Selection – What Types of Projects are Acceptable?

Communities will be selected by a panel with significant knowledge in aging issues, public health, community development, transportation and livable communities. In general, successful projects will demonstrate strong community and municipal leadership, diverse buy-in from the public, and a clearly expressed desire for change and the need for a catalyst to get started.  Successful applicants will have:

  • Articulated how the 50 plus community stands to benefit from a winter placemaking project by describing the need for this project and outcomes for the 50 and older;

  • Described how the community and local conditions demonstrate a clear, reasonable chance of creating a successful project to improve livability as a result of the project;

  • Identified ways to work with AARP to implement recommendations and ways to engage residents and stakeholders in the process;

  • Demonstrated collaboration with stakeholders and partners to assist with the project and follow-up activities;

  • Provided a clear and concise timeline with an appropriate budget outlining how funds will be used for the scope of the project. 

Projects need to specifically focus on those 50 plus and utilize placemaking efforts to improve a community's existing environment to benefit people of all ages and ability. Projects can include, but are not limited to:

  • Activating a vacant or underutilized public space or park through public art and activities that are permanent or temporary solutions aimed at improving access, programming or other amenities.
  • Creating opportunities to reduce isolation and foster intergenerational activities that promote healthy active lifestyles during the winter months.
  • Experimenting with complete streets and public transit options to expand transportation modes that will increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, and/or access to transit.
  • Enhancing indoor and/or outdoor public spaces with programming and activities to engage and support social connectivity for older adults.

AARP reserves the right to reject a proposal that does not align with its mission or policies in its sole discretion. Community matching funds are not required. However, applicants are encouraged to describe how the funding will be used to implement the Demonstration, further educate and engage community members in livability.


Grant Writing Assistance Available

Please submit this form by Oct. 6th in order to request Grant Writing Assistance  

Experienced AARP Volunteers will provide interested applicants with grant writing support.  In order to receive assistance the applicant must meet at least one of the following criteria, and have not received AARP funds in the past:  

·       Community size - a population of less than 8,000 residents; or

·       Staff capacity is limited - a lack of a grant writer on staff or as a volunteer; or

·       Organization - less than 10 people on staff

Note - we will strive to be flexible as we pilot this offering and reserve the ability to tweak the process or expand eligibility based upon need and the goal of ensuring this offering be as inclusive as possible. Priority will be placed on meeting the requests of the first 12 applicants; beyond the first 12 it will be dependent on volunteer capacity for review.

Start an Application

Click the start button when ready to submit your application. 

Applications should be received by Kelly Stoddard Poor from AARP VT at kstoddardpoor@aarp.org by 5:00p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, October 16, 2023 to be eligible for consideration.