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Community Challenge

Community Challenge Takes Quick Action in Utah

By Laura Polacheck | AARP Utah

AARP Funds Quick Action Community Project in Utah to Make Communities More Livable.

AARP Utah announces its winner for the AARP Community Challenge, aiming to create change and improve quality of life at the community-level. The winning project is Seven Canyons Trust—Folsom Trail Construction, funded through the AARP Community Challenge grant program for a project to be completed by November 1, 2017.

The Seven Canyons Trust describes its work as follows:

The Seven Canyons Trust is working to daylight and rehabilitate the seven canyon creeks, restoring the health and beauty to the hydrology of the Salt Lake Valley. As urbanization slowly gripped the Salt Lake Valley, natural spaces gave way to bricks and pavement. City, Red Butte, Emigration, Parley's, Mill, Big Cottonwood, and Little Cottonwood Creeks were neglected and taken for granted, dubbed as a nuisance. These creeks were put in underground culverts as they entered the city, no longer needed as drinking or irrigation water sources, essentially becoming canals. The Trust believes that these creeks and the overall hydrology of the Salt Lake Valley play a significant role in the identity of our valley; our oasis in the desert. The water flowing throughout the Salt Lake valley should be showcased, rather than hidden, to contribute to the overall health of all residents, flora and fauna alike. The journey the water takes from the Wasatch Mountains to the Jordan River should unify all the communities and ecosystems. The water should be allowed to prosper.

Brian Tonetti, Executive Director of the Seven Canyons Trust said, “We are delighted to receive funding from AARP's Community Challenge Grant. Funds will build support for the Folsom Corridor, an effort to turn an old rail-line into a 2-mile pedestrian and bicycle trail adjacent to the flowing waters of City Creek in Salt Lake City, Utah. We hope this can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages to rediscover the beauty of City Creek.”

According to AARP Utah State Director Alan Ormsby, “We are thrilled to provide this grant to the Seven Canyons Trust to help preserve the natural beauty of the Salt Lake Valley.  AARP believes that supporting community organizations is one of the best ways to strengthen and enrich resources that benefit us all.”

“Great communities require careful planning and time,” said AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond. “These quick action projects will give community leaders the motivation and momentum to create greater change.”

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.

For a complete list of the winners and projects, visit aarp.org/CommunityChallenge


About AARP

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 nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability, and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.