Philomath received a $5,800 grant to go toward a project to add benches at Philomath City Park. (File photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

AARP Oregon awarded the city of Philomath a $5,800 grant as part of an initiative to support age-friendly projects around the state.

The funding will go toward the addition of benches at Philomath City Park to draw older residents and increase social and health opportunities, AARP Oregon said through a press release.

“AARP Oregon Age-Friendly Communities Grants seek to help communities like Philomath become great places for people of all backgrounds, abilities and ages, especially people 50-plus,” Bandana Shrestha, AARP Oregon state director, said in the release. “We know that quick-action projects like these can spark innovation and catalyze long-lasting change.”

Four cities in Oregon received the grant — the others going to Ashland Senior Services, Grow Portland and Main Street Garden in Wallowa County. The grants are intended to fund innovative projects that inspire change in transportation, public spaces, diversity and inclusion, civic engagement and more.

The grantees were chosen from applicants for the national AARP Community Challenge Grant and are funded by AARP Oregon. In June, six national grantees were announced — those going to the city of Mosier, city of Moro, city of Woodburn, Sustainable Living Center in Salem, Healthy Klamath and Lloyd EcoDistrict in Portland.

“The city of Philomath is beyond excited to be an AARP Oregon grant recipient,” Philomath Assistant City Manager Chelsea Starner said through the release. “The additional funds are making it possible to add benches to our most visited park, City Park, creating more accessibility for all ages, which will foster multi-generational relationships.”

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