AARP Community Challenge 2017: Gulfport, Mississippi

The AARP Community Challenge funds “quick-action” projects that build momentum for local change to improve livability for people of all ages.

PROJECT: Transforming a floodplain into a dog park

After Hurricane Katrina nearly leveled the Bayou View West neighborhood in Gulfport, Mississippi, in 2005, the Federal Emergency Management Agency bought out the remaining residents and handed the property over to the city. Funded by an AARP Community Challenge grant, the city’s first dog park, the Bark Park, attracted more than 200 happy people and dogs on its opening day in 2017. If the area floods again, homes won’t be at risk. And once the park dries out, people and pups can return.


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