Main Street Wetumpka has awarded a $9,500 AARP Community Challenge grant to help beautify a downtown alleyway between Company and Hill streets.

The alleyway hosts a 90-foot mural displaying the community’s history. The additions will include entertainment space, benches, lighting, stonework, and movable furniture. 

“We are thrilled to work with AARP on the alleyway cultivation project, which will be a community gathering space with opportunities for cultural enhancement, recreation and more traffic for our small businesses,” Main Street Wetumpka executive director Jenny Stubbs said. “This project, the largest to date on our Tulotoma Snail Trail, will not only prove to cement our community’s optimism for the future despite the recent tornado devastation but will, more importantly, elevate the downtown Wetumpka experience with a beautified, pedestrian-friendly, vibrant space.”

Nearly $1.6 million will be distributed from the AARP to fund 159 “quick action” projects across the country, helping communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages.

Nearly 1,700 applications were received from nonprofits and government entities for the program, which is now in its third year. Each of the projects, which must be completed by Nov. 4, is designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

• Create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.

• Demonstrate the tangible value of “smart cities” by engaging residents and policymakers in accessing, understanding and using data to increase quality of life for all.

• Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options to increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements.

• Support the availability of a range of housing that increases accessible and affordable housing options.

“We are so incredibly excited to support Main Street Wetumpka,” AARP Alabama state director Candi Williams said. “Our goal at AARP Alabama is to support the efforts of neighborhoods, cities and towns to be great places for people of all ages. Main Street’s project will provide a wonderful space for the community to gather in the historic downtown.”

Other 2019 Alabama grantees include The Black Belt Treasurers Cultural Arts Center in Camden and the South Huntsville Business Association in Huntsville.

Main Street Wetumpka is one of 23 designated Main Street Alabama communities. As an independent, nonprofit organization, Main Street’s mission is to revitalize the downtown business district through a proven four-point approach involving the principles of design, promotion, outreach and economic vitality.

To learn more, visit www.mainstreetwetumpka.org or follow @MainStreetWetumpka on social media.