In the second round of U.S. Bank Places to Play grants, nine nonprofits will build and renovate athletic facilities, playgrounds and more.
U.S. Bank and the Minnesota Vikings today announced the second round of U.S. Bank Places to Play grant recipients, who will receive $350,000 to make possible projects that create or renovate parks, playgrounds and sports facilities in low- to moderate-income communities in Minnesota.
Through the program, which launched alongside U.S. Bank Stadium in 2015, the bank and team are donating $1 million to community-based nonprofit organizations and local schools statewide over three years. The initiative aligns with U.S. Bank's Community Possible platform, which focuses the bank's giving and volunteerism on creating opportunities for Work, Home and Play in its communities.
"We believe in the power of play to connect and enrich our communities," said U.S. Bank Twin Cities Market President Phillip Trier, who played college football at St. John's University in Minnesota. "We’re excited to break ground on this next round of projects, each of which creates opportunities for kids to learn, grow and make memories."
Trier and Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs – who fondly recalls playing at a park near his grandma’s growing up – kicked off the grant deliveries today at The Sanneh Foundation in east St. Paul.
- The Sanneh Foundation in St. Paul, founded by former U.S. national and MLS soccer player Tony Sanneh, will use the funding to improve the gym by upgrading the surface from the current tile and concrete to a wood gym floor. Improving the gym will keep participants healthy, safe and free from injury, and contribute to an atmosphere of positive self-worth among participants at Conway Community Center.
- Also in St. Paul, St. Paul Urban Tennis is adding six courts to Eastview Park Tennis Complex, to provide positive activity in parks that engage youth and families in healthy activity and teach character development through a lifetime sport.
- Gideon Pond Elementary in Burnsville is designing a truly inclusive/barrier-free playground – one that would be the first of its kind in Burnsville. The playground will include signature equipment pieces that are easily accessible and safe for students of all ability levels.
- Similarly, Talahi Community School in St. Cloud is improving its playground to make a difference in the lives of children, especially those with disabilities, by providing them a safe, accessible place to play. In addition to a playground, a sand table and fossil pit will provide children with a sensory experience that is critical to learning.
- Mower County Senior Center in Austin is replacing the current modular play equipment and adding adult exercise equipment which will allow intergenerational groups a safe, accessible, enjoyable place to play and gather.
- Warren/Alvarado/Oslo School District is building a new activity complex that will include a warming area, locker rooms and a snack bar. Warren is a regional center and the new, steel complex will provide a center for area youth to gather.
- Springbrook Nature Center Foundation in Fridley is a nature-based play area featuring elements such as crawling logs, animal sculptures and boulders which will provide a place to introduce children to nature in a way that is fun, creative and experiential.
- Catholic Charities in St. Cloud will renovate South Side Community Playground, replacing the deteriorating and outdated play structures, update/repair ground surfaces and improve landscaping. The playground will be safer and provide more green space for this community to rest and play.
- Tracy Area Public Schools in Tracy is building a new playground which will better serve younger students and kids in Tracy, including those that attend the community daycare and preschool. The playground will feature themed pieces to enhance imaginative play, including a fire station, bank and police station as well as padded surface imprinted with street crossings.
The third and final round of grant applications will be open later this summer. More information at usbank.com/placestoplay.
Susan Beatty, U.S. Bank Corporate Communications