connecticut river picnic area

Goodwin College Receives AARP Community Challenge Grant

East Hartford, CT — Goodwin College has been selected as one of 159 awardees of the 2019 AARP Community Challenge Grant program. Recipients of this “quick action” grant program come from every state, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

For the third annual awards, AARP received more than 1,660 applications, resulting in a highly competitive selection process. A total of nearly $1.6 million was distributed to projects across the country, helping communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages. Winning projects are expected to achieve one or more of the following outcomes and be completed by November 4, 2019: 1) Deliver a range of options that increase connectivity to public and private transit; 2) Create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks; and access to amenities; 3) Support the availability of a range of housing in the community that increase accessible and affordable housing options; 4) Demonstrate the value of “Smart Cities” to encourage the development and implementation of innovative decision-making and programs that engage residents in accessing, understanding, and using data to increase the quality of life for residents.

With the AARP award of $15,500, Goodwin plans to install a new accessible picnic area along a campus greenway and enhance it with programming. The goal of this initiative is to improve the quality of life and promote a range of health benefits for residents and visitors. During the past several years, Goodwin has committed considerable planning and resources to connecting its campus trails system to others in the area, creating opportunities for community members to experience and learn about the South Meadows area and its connection to the Connecticut River.

“For decades, the Connecticut River was largely cut off from the community,” said Sandra Ward, Director of Grants for Goodwin. “Thanks to resources and opportunities like the AARP Community Challenge Grant, we are able to create a space that is recreational, educational, and environmentally responsible.”

To find out more about the program and the other grantees, visit