Recently, AARP Alabama awarded four Alabama organizations the 2021 Community Challenge grant.
“The AARP Community Challenge is a grant program to make tangible improvements to communities that jump-start long-term change,” from a release from AARP. “It is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages. To learn more, visit aarp.org/Livable.”
One of the Alabama recipients is right here in Baldwin County: Foley Main Street, which applied with an idea to bring the downtown to life through music. With the funds received from AARP’s Community grant, Foley Main Street is working to bring permanent musical instruments to a planned pocket park located on the corner of Highway 98 and Pine Street.
“Music always brings people together,” said Foley Main Street Director Darrelyn Dunmore. “Coming back from COVID and the hurricane, this will bring all different types of people together. Because of where the park will be located, the Foley Middle schoolers can just walk to it and use the stage.”
Anyone looking to hold an impromptu concert any day of the week will be able to play the provided instruments. Seasoned musicians or those looking to practice or have some fun will be able to choose from the Swirl, Imbarimba, Yantzee and the Tuned Drums. The instruments are multigenerational, offer interactive play, are durable, sculptural, perfectly tuned, and available for those of all ages and all abilities. Foley Main Street is purchasing the instruments from Freenotes Harmony Park. Using the instruments will be a free activity.
Foley Main Street is working closely with the city of Foley and the Baldwin County Board of Education, which is leasing the land where the proposed park would be located to the city, towards developing the pocket park to potentially hold a stage and amphitheater seating. Designs for the potential new park are being completed by WAS Design, and Dunmore looks forward to continuing to collaborate with Main Street partners going forward.
“The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages,” a release from AARP stated. “Since 2017, AARP Alabama has awarded 15 grants totaling more than $192,000 through the program to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the state.”
For more information on Foley Main Street, visit www.foleymainstreet.com, follow Foley Main Street on social media and download the Foley Main Street app. Future plans for the new park will be announced at a later date.