Freewater Square rendering

An artist's rendering of Freewater Square in Milton-Freewater.

Another grant has been secured for a downtown plaza project in Milton-Freewater.

Oregon AARP's Community Challenge grants were given to three projects. One recipient was the Milton-Freewater Downtown Alliance.

"This grant will install a gathering place and activity plaza where people of all ages can play and engage with each other while keeping a safe distance," according to Oregon AARP's website.

Another grant will go to the Asian Health and Service Center in Portland and another will go to Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon Metro HomeShare. 

The total amount of the grant was not available, but the nationwide AARP grants total $2.4 million for 184 projects. The projects must be completed by Dec. 18 to be eligible.

Freewater Square is the name of a planned plaza that will use a parking lot at the corner of North Main Street and Fifth Avenue.

The idea is to turn the area into a "community living room," according to the alliance website.

The plan is to have picnic tables, a movie wall, games, such as pingpong and foosball, and space for family activities.

The alliance is in the midst of a contest where local artists can lend their ideas for a mural to be displayed on a wall at the plaza.

The deadline for entries is Sept. 30. The alliance hopes to have the mural complete by Oct. 30, in time for a Nov. 1 unveiling of the project, weather and COVID-19 restrictions permitting.

More information on the contest is available at

Jedidiah Maynes can be reached at or 509-526-8318.

Jedidiah Maynes is the managing editor of Walla Walla Lifestyles magazine. He also writes about business news in the Valley and covers a variety of others topics on occasion. He enjoys making music and puns.