U.S. Bank Places to Play is a collaboration between U.S. Bank and the Minnesota Vikings that provides grant funding to non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations and schools in low- to moderate-income communities in Minnesota to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of local play spaces. As part of U.S. Bank’s Community Possible platform, this grantmaking initiative focuses on creating or improving parks, playgrounds, indoor/outdoor athletic facilities and repairing existing trails over three years.
U.S. Bank recently launched a new community giving and engagement platform called “Community Possible” focused on three central themes: Work, Home and Play. We invest our time, resources and passion in economic development by supporting efforts to create stable jobs, better homes and vibrant communities.
As part of the focus on play, U.S. Bank is collaborating with the Minnesota Vikings on the U.S. Bank Places to Play program, a $1 million, three-year investment across the state of Minnesota. U.S. Bank Places to Play was introduced as part of the original U.S. Bank Stadium partnership announcement with the Minnesota Vikings in June 2015.
The following organizations have demonstrated strong plans to improve in-demand recreation spaces that are ready for execution. Their projects show a high level of community engagement and represent a diverse set of communities and play spaces across the state of Minnesota.
South Side Community Playground
South Side Community Playground is one of the only playgrounds in a neighborhood that is heavily populated by families and their young children. This project will replace the deteriorating and outdated play structures, update/repair ground surfaces and improve landscaping.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.
Accessible Playground for Talahi
Talahi Community School is making 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. This is the first playground of its kind in the St. Cloud area.
Gideon Pond Barrier Free Playground
Gideon Pond prides itself on being a place that works hard to ensure that all students have the opportunity to thrive, grow, and develop. This is the driving force of a new, 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.
Austin Morning Lions Park-Equipment
This well-used park is a great area to play outside and gather as a family. Replacing the current modular play equipment and adding adult exercise equipment will allow intergenerational groups a safe, accessible, enjoyable place to play and gather.
Gym Improvement at Conway Community Center
The gym at Conway is the center of activity for more than 600 neighborhood youth. The Sanneh Foundation will use 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.
Springbrook Nature Center Nature-based Play Area
Springbrook Nature Center is a regional amenity where families can come to experience and interact with nature. There is a long-standing need for a play area for toddlers and young children. A nature-based play area featuring elements such as crawling logs, animal sculptures and boulders will provide a place to introduce children to nature in a way that is fun, creative and experiential.
Eastview Park Tennis Complex
SPUT's mission is to provide positive activity in parks that engage youth and families in healthy activity and teach character development through a lifetime sport. Six courts will be added to an existing two-court facility at Eastview Park.
Tracy Area Elementary Playground Structure
A new playground will better serve younger students and kids in Tracy, including children those that attend the community daycare and preschool. The playground will featured themed pieces to enhance imaginative play, including a fire station, bank and police station as well as a padded surface imprinted with street crossings. As the main playground area for our community, this addition will make the park more appropriate for young children.
Warren Activity Complex
An existing indoor natural ice skating rink in dangerous condition will be replaced with an 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. Students will also use the facility for physical education classes, practices and events.