SPEARFISH, SD – The City of Spearfish was one of 258 projects selected nationwide from more than 3,200 applicants to receive a Community Challenge Grant from AARP, which will be used to improve rec path signage, wayfinding, and traffic calming.
Parks and Recreation Director Tyler Ehnes explained the idea of applying for a grant through AARP was brought forth by two citizens earlier this year, and the timing was fortuitous as Parks staff were working on a similar idea at the same time. The City Council approved the request to apply for the grant in February, with the news of the grant award occurring in June.
“We will be using the grant funds to create better signage and wayfinding along the rec path as well as traffic calming and safety measures on Grant and Nash streets where the rec path crosses those roadways,” Parks and Recreation Director Ehnes said, describing how high-visible crosswalks, free-standing signs in the crosswalks, updated colorful signage to help people navigate the rec path, and a mapping kiosk at Brady Park will be installed. The project must be completed by November, per the grant requirements.
The City received $15,692 towards the project through the grant, and Parks and Recreation Director Ehnes explained the funding will provide improvements from City Park north to Salem Park, and staff is currently working with another organization to fund similar improvements to the rest of the path system.
“Thanks to AARP for the generous support that made this project possible to help make this community a great place for all ages,” he said.
The AARP Community Challenge is a grant program to make tangible improvements in communities that jump-start long-term change. 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.
Image caption: These renderings show the type of signage to be installed as part of the project. Images courtesy City of Spearfish