Athens Main Street Awarded 2023 AARP Community Challenge grant

ATHENS, Ala. – Athens Main Street announced today [July 24, 2023] they are one of 310 grantees selected to receive the 2023 AARP Community Challenge grant from AARP Livable Communities and AARP Alabama.

Athens Main Street Executive Director Tere Richardson said, “We are incredibly proud that AARP selected us for this investment to make Athens and Limestone County more livable for residents of all ages.”

Richardson says through this grant, Athens Main Street will provide age-friendly gathering space furnishings including slide-in picnic tables, accessible picnic tables, and high-seat comfy chairs at the Athens Farmers Market at Doug Gates Park.

Through its mission, AARP Community Grant Challenge, seeks to make communities more livable for people of all ages with tangible improvements that jump-start long-term change.  In its seventh year, AARP is announcing the largest number of Community Challenge grants to date, investing more than $3.6 million among 310 grantees across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Richardson explains that AARP believes that great communities take a long time to build and sustain. But they also believe that quick actions can be the spark for long-term progress.

The grant funds quick-action projects.  All projects are expected to be complete by November 30, 2023.  The new furnishings for the market pavilion will provide a comfortable, safe, and vibrant seating space for all ages at the Athens Farmers Market.

Athens Farmers Market Manager Kat Greene said, “We cannot wait to see the transformation of our gathering space with help from this grant.”

The Athens Farmers Market committee is planning to install and showcase the furnishings during the upcoming fall market.

The fall market, sponsored by First Metro Bank, is scheduled for September 30, 2023, from 8 a.m. to Noon. Greene encourages everyone to make plans to shop at the market, listen to great music, and celebrate the new furnishings.


This year, the AARP Community Challenge funded projects that achieved one of several outcomes. This project will create vibrant public places. For more information on all of this year’s grantees and their projects, go to

If you are interested in helping with the renovation, would like to donate, or need additional information, please contact Tere Richardson at (256) 232-9040 or email

About Athens Main Street (AMS)

The mission of Athens Main Street is to enhance downtown vibrancy, preserve its historic charm, empower its community of business owners, and foster a center of activity for the community.