Minneapolis was a focal point for thousands of fans, celebrities, and media from all over the country during the Super Bowl LII activities. Nicollet Mall was lit up with vendors, kids’ activities, concerts and special appearances. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport saw record numbers of flights coming in and out of the city. But the Super Bowl had a greater impact on our state than just a week of economic boom for the metro.
The Super Bowl Legacy Fund is a 501C3, community advised fund of the Minnesota Community Foundation. Working in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) and based on the recommendations of SHIP’s community health boards, the Legacy Fund provided 52 grants to 52 community projects across the state over the 52 weeks leading up to Super Bowl LII. The work of the Legacy Fund is made possible by Minnesota’s philanthropic community, including foundations, corporations, and individual donors. The Northwest Minnesota Foundation was one of those partners.
In our region, five grants were given for a variety of projects that benefit children and families.
The City of Roseau received a $100,000 grant which will help fund the South Riverview Park Project. The grant will support the second phase of the project that includes building a skate park, refurbishing a basketball court, and preparing a new outdoor ice rink at the future park site.
The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe was given a $100,000 grant to help purchase and stock a mobile teaching kitchen. The kitchen will teach hands-on cooking techniques and overall best practices for sustainable and affordable cooking. Partnerships and collaborations between Tribal Government programs will ensure that the kitchen is utilized across the Leech Lake Reservation.
The White Earth Reservation Tribal Council was awarded a $100,000 grant to build the reservation’s first skate park. The Sons and Daughters Initiative Skate Park will advance the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe‘s goals to advance the long-term health of the children and families on the reservation by providing a new place to gather for outdoor recreation in a community with few nearby parks and resources.
The Bemidji Community Food Shelf received a $30,000 grant to help the organization purchase a van to pick up food from North Country Food Bank in Crookston and from various area stores. The van may also allow the food shelf to reach outlying communities in the future.
The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians was given a $100,000 grant to build outdoor recreation areas in each of four communities that make up the Red Lake Reservation. The grant dollars will help build a playground, basketball court, and a picnic area for children and families to meet and gather in each community. The outdoor recreation space will also provide a safe place for young people to play. The new outdoor spaces will include equipment and fixtures that encourage multi-generational recreation and promote socialization and fitness for all ages.
A $50,000 grant was given to enhance the nature-based play area that promotes outdoor activity and increased community engagement in Crookston.
The natural play space is located at Castle Park, which includes a dog park and a network of unstructured hiking and walking trails near the Red Lake River. Kids and families visiting the space can play and interact with rocks, water and other parts of the natural landscape which was assessed, designed, implemented and maintained by the Crookston community. Along with maintenance and expansion of the natural play space, an access point to enable the use of the river for kayaking, canoeing and fishing was added and trailheads created at the land and water interface, providing signage and interpretation.
Northwest Minnesota Foundation (NMF) made a grant to the Super Bowl Legacy Fund for $50,000 to support these regional projects. Nate Dorr, Program Officer for Community Develop for NMF, says “It’s a great opportunity to support projects that improve health and wellness in our communities. It was so fun to watch how excited the kids were at each local grant celebration. The Legacy Fund staff really did a good job coordinating all the projects.”
The Super Bowl Legacy Fund held a celebration to commemorate the work they did throughout the 52 weeks of giving. They hosted a Kids’ Tailgate party at the Target Center downtown Minneapolis on January 31st. Families were invited to attend to meet and greet NFL players, enjoy healthy snacks that were prepared by kid chefs, play games and activities, and to hear from local celebrities and TV personalities, like Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods, about the importance of eating healthy foods and staying active.
A total of $5.5 million was invested in communities throughout Minnesota from the Legacy Fund.
For more information, you can check out the Super Bowl Legacy Fund website here.