A series of park projects in Minnesota cities will allocate nearly $9 million in federal grants aimed at expanding recreational opportunities in underserved communities.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced last week that St. Paul’s proposed North End Community Center, Rochester’s Soldiers Memorial Field Park and Minneapolis’ Willard Park will receive $8.7 million through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy program Partnership (ORLP) can be obtained.
“By expanding green spaces and creating new outdoor recreation opportunities, this funding will help ensure all Minnesotans, regardless of their zip code, can enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors,” Klobuchar said in a statement.
The announcement follows Home Secretary Deb Haaland’s visit to Minnesota, which included a stop at St. Paul’s Midway Peace Park, which was a 2020 ORLP grantee. According to the National Park Service, 26 cities have over $60 million in grants available this year.
In Minnesota, North End Center will receive approximately $2.4 million, Soldiers Field Park $5 million, and Willard Park $1.3 million. The money will go to a range of facilities, from sports fields to swimming pools and stormwater management.
In a statement, Smith said that “too often these lands are unequally distributed between affluent and underserved communities. These new projects will help create more green spaces in economically depressed areas where our children can play and families can enjoy the great outdoors.”