Bloomingdale neighborhood receives AARP grant

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – The Bloomingdale Neighborhood Association and Historic Wells Street Business Corridor are recipients of the 2022 AARP Community Challenge Grant.

The area that connects to downtown Fort Wayne has made big improvements in recent years.

The Bloomingdale neighborhood hopes the grant will improve livability for residents as well as bring a more sense of community in the area.

“It’s a great way to showcase all the effort and work that is going into this community,” said Joanna Dunbar, Vice President of the Bloomingdale Neighborhood Association. In its 6th year, AARP is awarding the largest number of Community Challenge grants to date, investing more than $3.4 million among 260 grantees across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Representatives say that with the grant, quick-action projects and events will demonstrate changes. They also want to help build momentum to improve livability for residents of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities in the Bloomingdale neighborhood.

Representatives released the following:

This year, the AARP Community Challenge funded projects that achieve one of several outcomes.

Bloomingdale Neighborhood Association President Chris Walker, AARP Indiana, The Historic Wells Street Business Corridor, Fort Wayne City Council 5th District Geoff Paddock and members of the committee gather at the green space south of Hyde Bros. Booksellers that will be one of the locations activated with funding from the 2022 AARP Community Challenge Grant

Our project will:
o Create vibrant public places by improving and activating 3 spaces along Wells Street. Wells Street Park, the green space south of Hyde Bros. Booksellers, and the new alley between the Indiana Mexican Bakery and La Michoacana Restaurant & Ice Cream Shop. Improvements will include outdoor furniture, lighting, flowers, and games. Community programming will include music, family activities, food, block parties, and Fall Festival events.

o Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options by increasing connectivity, walkability, bike-ability, and wayfinding, by enhancing crosswalks and signage.

o Increase civic engagement by hosting monthly events and bringing together residents and local leaders to address challenges and facilitate a greater sense of inclusion.

o Ensure a focus on diversity and inclusion while improving the built and social environment of a community in Bloomingdale.
• Official Kickoff Party is July 28th, 2022 at 6:00 pm
• For more information on all of this year’s grantees and their projects, click here.
• You can see a map featuring this year’s Community Challenge projects, previous year’s grantees, as well as communities that are members of the AARP Network of the Age-Friendly States and Communities at AARP’s livable communities interactive map at