A Springfield nonprofit received over 10K from the AARP Community Challenge grant program to continue developing three vacant lots into a community space.
1159 South Community Development Corporation began working on the space, located at the intersection of West Grand Avenue and South Yellow Springs Street, about two weeks ago.
“We are incredibly proud that AARP selected 1159 South to receive this grant,” 1159 South Community Development Corporation Board Member Neal Browning said. “AARP is a nationwide leader on making neighborhoods, towns, and cities more livable for all residents and we are honored that they see the tangible value this project will bring to our community.”
The community space, Grand Harmony, will feature two porch swings, a picnic table with benches, a community-sized grill, a shed, lighting and other elements that will be funded through the $10,450 grant, the nonprofit said.
Out of 2,800 organizations that applied, 1159 South is one of 184 grantees selected from across the 50 states, Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, 1159 South said.
According to AARP’s website, they have distributed more than $2.4 million this year among the grant winners.
“Through AARP’s support, these former vacant-lot eyesores will soon become the community’s front porch, backyard, and happy place,” 1159 South said.
The nonprofit is also working on a second community space, The Innisfallen Inspirational Garden, located near the intersection of Innisfallen Avenue and South Yellow Springs Street.
This space will feature three patio areas and a walkway of bricks personalized by residents and south Springfield supporters called the Walkway of Us, 1159 South Community Development Corporation Co-Founder and President Lawrence Beavers said.
“We hope these projects will bring a renewed sense of pride in the neighborhood,” Beavers said. “We hope that it inspires people to want to see the neighborhood uplifted and do better in the neighborhood.”