CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A pair of recreational projects in West Virginia are the recipients of AARP Community Challenge grants, the organization announced Friday.

The East End Community Park in Charleston and the Deckers Creek Trailhead Park in Masontown will receive the funding.

Gaylene Miller

AARP West Virginia State Director Gaylene Miller said the grant program is very competitive.

“We had over 1,600 grant applications submitted across the country and we only funded 159 of them, two right here in West Virginia,” Miller said.

In Charleston, the $15,000 grant will be used to improve the park on Dixie Street, a few blocks from the state capitol, by adding a splash pad, playground structures, suitable lighting and greenery. The project at Deckers Trailhead Park in Preston County will use $4,200 to improve access and signage along with a picnic table, bike rack and bench.

Miller said one of AARP’s missions is to improve communities.

“We’re all about livable communities, age-friendly communities,” she said. “When we talk about age-friendly communities we’re talking about communities for all ages not just old age. We know what’s good for an eight-year-old is good for an 80-year-old.

Miller said the projects are what’s called ‘quick-action projects.’ She said that means the work has to be completed by Nov. 4 of this year.

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