A Trenton-based health group will be launching a bike share program geared towards senior citizens in the city’s west ward.

Trenton Health Team, a health partnership between St. Francis Medical Center, Capital Health, Henry J. Austin Health Center and Trenton’s Department of Health and Human Services, will be piloting the project through a grant provided by the 2020 AARP Community Challenge.

The bike share program will provide bicycles, tricycles and safety gear to three sites in the ward. Each site will also have creative racks and storage lockers designed by local Trenton artists, while the cycles will be sourced from the Boys and Girls Club Bike Exchange.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hampered many social activities, especially for older adults,” said Gregory Paulson, Trenton Health Team’s executive director. “Thanks to AARP’s support, Trenton Health Team will partner with community groups to provide a safe and fun way for residents to be outdoors and active right in their neighborhoods.”

The project is part of several projects piloted by the AARP Community Challenge. More than $2.4 million has been awarded to 184 organization in the country. The challenge has also given grants to Metuchen Downtown Alliance and Flemington’s Harvest Family Success Center.

Metuchen Downtown Alliance, a volunteer-based nonprofit dedicated to managing and revitalizing Metuchen’s business district, will use the grant to repurpose public spaces to expand outdoor dining and retail. The Harvest Family Success Center will be implementing a “Cook & Books” program, which will provide low-income seniors with weekly and fresh produce market, while also providing a library featuring both novels and healthy eating and wellness books.

“Our goal at AARP New Jersey is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities,” said Stephanie Hunsinger, the state director of AARP New Jersey. “The coronavirus pandemic has only underscored the importance of this work.”

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