AARP Ohio Selects Unity Park for 2022 Community Challenge Grant

AARP Ohio announced this week that the City of Delaware Parks and Recreation Department will receive a 2022 AARP Community Challenge grant, one of six grantees chosen statewide, to fund fitness enhancements at Unity Park.

The $15,000 grant will help fund a fitness loop and equipment, age-friendly benches, programming space, a shade structure and safety lighting. The fitness equipment and programming space will be placed on a poured rubber surface.

Through community outreach, City of Delaware Parks staff discovered the unmet need in the community was predominantly from the 50-plus age group. The local neighborhood has difficulty getting transportation to SourcePoint and the Delaware Community Center YMCA to participate in fitness and healthy living programs. This alternate location will help bring programs to the community and help expand opportunities for residents.

“The collaborative effort produced wonderful results for Unity Park,” Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle said. “Parks staff and citizens both had an opportunity to express their vision for the space and in so doing, the relationship between the city and a portion of its citizenry also was transformed.”

Unity Park upgrades have been ongoing since Fall 2021. All projects in the grantee class are expected to be completed by November 30, 2022.

This project is part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.4 million awarded among 260 organizations nationwide. Grantees are asked to 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.

“We are incredibly excited to support the City of Delaware as they work to make immediate improvements, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change in Delaware,” shared Holly Holtzen, AARP Ohio State Director. “Our goal at AARP Ohio is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities.”

Other Ohio grantees include Boulevard Park Block Watch in Youngstown, Bhutanese Community of Central Ohio in Columbus, Community Care Clinics in Toledo, and Union Miles Development.

The full list of grantees can be found at

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 Ohio has awarded 27 grants and $387,000 through the program to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the state. View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at and learn more about AARP’s livable communities work at

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