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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, September 14, 2017 1:00 am

Active Living Coalition wins AARP acclaim

Journal Gazette

AARP Indiana announced Wednesday the Fort Wayne Active Living Coalition is one of two winners in Indiana for the AARP Community Challenge, aiming to create change and improve quality of life at the community level.

The project was fully funded through the AARP Community Challenge grant and is set to be completed by Nov. 1. 

All of the winning projects in this challenge will deliver on one or all of the following:

• Improve social connections through the built environment benefiting people of all ages and abilities in the community.

• Expand opportunities for all residents, such as job, volunteer, and educational/training opportunities.

• Drive inclusive community engagement and interaction across a diverse population. 

The Fort Wayne Active Living Coalition is a group that includes AARP Indiana, community leaders, the city of Fort Wayne and Purdue Extension.

This project will have two components.

The first will be the creation of a traffic calming parklet at Columbia Street and St. Joseph Boulevard, the point at which the residential edge of the Northside Neighborhood feeds into downtown Fort Wayne.

This intersection is also adjacent to the site of the confluence of Fort Wayne's three rivers as well as a main junction of Fort Wayne's Rivergreenway. 

This parklet is intended to be an interim, pilot installation aimed at being a catalyst for permanent infrastructure improvements in the intersection.

The project will be led by a project facilitator from Fort Wayne Active Living Coalition to ensure that the project is designed, installed, maintained and tracked in a manner that will ensure long-term impacts and lead to further success in the mission to create an active, livable community.

“The goal of this 'quick action' project is to slow down vehicular traffic in a fun and aesthetically pleasing way,” Mo Palmer, from the Fort Wayne Active Coalition, said in a statement. “It will help create a more welcoming place for residents, community members, trail users and visitors to safely utilize non-motorized modes of transportation.

“We are very grateful to AARP for their ongoing commitment to livable communities!” 

The Fort Wayne project will also receive support through the AARP and Team Better Block collaboration, including support with project design, collaboration with city departments, and organizing the community around project objectives.