The Town of Readfield and its Age Friendly Committee have been awarded an $8,000 grant from AARP’s Livable Community Initiative, according to a news release from the town.

“We are thrilled to receive these funds” said Eric Dyer, Readfield’s town manager, according to the release. “These funds will allow the town to add infrastructure to the historical Readfield fairgrounds which has two miles of wheelchair-accessible trails, abuts a town cemetery, a new sidewalk, a ball field and a trail that links to the town beach.”

These funds will be used to add low bleacher seating for the ball field which can be also used as an outside community venue for up to 60 spectators, bike racks, two ADA accessible picnic tables and benches at various locations along the trail, including one on a hill overlooking a farm and Lake Maranacook, according to the release.

This grant initiative was developed by the Age Friendly Committee. Readfield is one of 56 communities across the state that works with AARP to review how its community serves its residents and in particular, its older residents who want to stay in their community. As the U.S. population ages and people stay healthy and active longer, communities must adapt. Well-designed, livable communities promote health and sustain economic growth, and they make for happier, healthier residents — of all ages.

“The proposed project will address multiple domains of livability including Outdoor Spaces and Buildings, Social Participation, Respect and Social Inclusion, Communication and Information and Community Support and Well Being” said Romaine Turyn, the committee chairman, according to the release. More specifically, the proposal addresses a focus on improving the connectivity, walkability in the community and creating vibrant public places through permanent or temporary solutions that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities. “We are so fortunate to be selected for these funds as they will enhance the Readfield Fairgrounds as a community hub,” Turyn added, according to the release.

The grant funds must be expended by November of this year and does not require matching funds, only in-kind labor.

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