AARP Community Challenge Grant

AARP Community Challenge Grant 2020

AARP Community Challenge Grant 2020
Eco El Paso, a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in El Paso, Texas, is thrilled to announce we have been selected to receive an AARP Community Challenge Grant for 2020.  We are one of only 184 grantees selected from across all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

With this “quick-action” grant, we will install wayfinding signage, rest stops and shade trees to safely guide residents in the Thomas Manor neighborhood to the Playa Drain Trail. The Playa Drain Trail is part of the larger Paso Del Norte Trail which is a community-driven, collaborative effort to develop a 68-mile county-wide trail in El Paso County, visit www.pasodelnortetrail.org  for more information. Connecting the Thomas Manor neighborhood to the Playa Drain Trail will provide access to the Ysleta Pre-K center, two elementary schools, Ysleta Middle School, and Ysleta High School, as well as five parks.

“We are incredibly proud that AARP selected Eco El Paso to receive this grant,” says Shelby Ruff, President of the Board of Directors for Eco El Paso. “AARP is a nationwide leader on making neighborhoods, towns, and cities more livable for all residents and we are honored that they see the tangible value this project will bring our community in El Paso, Texas.”

Eco El Paso wants to thank Creosote Collaborative for being a sustaining partner over the years. We appreciate their collaboration on this upcoming AARP Community Grant project in El Paso. We can’t wait to share pictures and videos once the project is complete!

Survey for Thomas Manor Neighborhood Residents

If you are in the Thomas Manor neighborhood, we have sent you a paper mailer about this grant along with a survey. If you would like to fill the survey out online instead of mailing it back, please use the links below in English or Spanish to complete the survey.

You can also download the survey’s in English or Spanish by clicking on the downloadable PDF document links below.

Paso Del Norte Trail

The Paso del Norte Trail is a community-driven, collaborative effort to develop a county-wide trail in El Paso County. The roughly 68–mile span of the Paso del Norte (PDN) Trail is divided into five distinct districts. The goal is to create a regionally significant landmark that promotes active transportation, preserves the history and culture of our region, highlights the Rio Grande river, supports economic development and ecotourism, provides educational and volunteer opportunities, and makes healthy living the easy choice for our unique, binational community.


Wayfinding Signs

  • Wayfinding will be placed within the Thomas Manor Neighborhood to shows pedestrians how to get to the Paso del Norte Trail.

Tree Planting

  • Free trees available to a limited number homeowners to plant on their private property.
  • Trees must be planted near the sidewalk to provide shade for pedestrians.
  • Are you interested in receiving a free tree? Send back the survey, making sure to respond to all questions to be eligible.


  • Benches will be installed within the Thomas Manor Neighborhood.
  • Benches will provide rest areas for pedestrians.

Contact Info


Program Overview

Below are a few details about the AARP Community Challenge Grant 2020 and Eco El Paso’s plans to integrate this project into the local community.

About the AARP Community Challenge

The Community Challenge funds innovative projects that inspire change in areas such as transportation, public spaces, housing, smart cities, civic engagement, coronavirus response and more.

It’s all part of AARP’s nationwide work on livable communities, which supports the efforts of neighborhoods, towns, cities and counties across the country to become great places for all residents. AARP believes that communities should provide safe, walkable streets; affordable and accessible housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community life.

To learn more about the work being funded by the AARP Community Challenge across the nation – including all 184 granted projects this year, visit www.aarp.org/CommunityChallenge. You can also view an interactive map of all Community Challenge projects and AARP’s livable communities work at www.aarp.org/livable.

AARP Community Challenge Grant 2020

Eco El Paso’s AARP Community Challenge Grant project will be focus on raising awareness about the Paso Del Norte Trail / Playa Drain Trail within the Thomas Manor Neighborhood near Riverside High School. 

  1. Way Finding Signs
  2. Install New Benches
  3. Planting Native Trees
  4. Education & Awareness about the Paso Del Norte Trail, Play Drain Trail, and amenities offered to this community and anyone in the region that wants to take advantage of these new trails. 


* Draft map only, subject to change.