MPRB receives $500,000 grant for Sheridan Memorial Park

Secretary Jewell, Director Jarvis Announce $3 Million to Develop and Enhance Parks, Outdoor Recreation Facilities in Minneapolis and Seven Other Cities

Revenue from Offshore Oil and Gas Royalties Used to Benefit Disadvantaged Neighborhoods with First-of-a-Kind, Competitive Grants

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Director of the National Park Service Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced $3 million to assist eight cities in constructing and enhancing parks and other outdoor recreation facilities in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is receiving a $500,000 grant for development of recreation facilities at Sheridan Memorial Park, located on a former industrial site on the Mississippi River in Northeast Minneapolis. Other projects range from the renovation of an athletic complex in Detroit, Michigan to construction of a new skate park in Madison, Wisconsin.

The grants, part of a new competitive grant program called the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership, are funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). For more than 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has invested revenue from federal offshore oil and gas royalties into more than 40,000 outdoor recreation facilities and conservation projects in every state.

“These eight projects are models of what we have been able to accomplish through the Land and Water Conservation Fund over the past half century,” Jewell said. “We are reinvesting revenues from offshore oil and gas development into parks and open spaces, giving back a portion of what we have taken from our lands and waters. These investments will bring badly needed outdoor spaces and recreational opportunities to urban areas where people, especially young people, will benefit from improved places for healthy outdoor activities.”

“Supporting local communities as they create and improve spaces for outdoor recreation through the LWCF Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership grants allows the National Park Service to meet our goal of connecting all Americans to spaces where they can enjoy the great outdoors and establish meaningful relationships in their communities and with their public lands,” said Jarvis.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will apply the grant funds toward development of the 3.5-acre Sheridan Memorial Park, located in an area that is underserved by recreation opportunities and characterized by significant low-income and minority populations, a larger youth population, and above-average rate of negative health issues.  The park’s master plan includes a playground, multi-purpose field, picnic area, picnic shelter/restroom building, pathways connecting to a regional trail network, and an environmentally restored riverfront. 

“We are thrilled to receive this grant for Sheridan Memorial Park. It will allow us to develop some of the recreational features within the park and increase park use by the community and the region,” said Liz Wielinski, President of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. “Sheridan is part of our RiverFirst initiative to transform 5.5 miles of the Mississippi River from Downtown Minneapolis to the northern city border, an area that has historically been industrial. We have done a lot of work with the Department of Interior, National Park Service, City Parks Alliance and other public and private agencies to create awareness of the significance of RiverFirst and the long-term environmental, recreational and economic benefits it will bring to the city.”

Congress created the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program, administered by the National Park Service, to complement the agency’s existing Land and Water Conservation Fund State and Local Assistance Program. The new program seeks to identify and highlight new ways of providing opportunities for expanding outdoor play in areas with great need, as well as promoting the development of new or enhanced partnerships for outdoor recreation in urban communities across the nation.

President Obama and Secretary Jewell have urged Congress to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is due to expire this year, and to provide full, permanent funding of the $900 million authorized under the law.

In addition to the grant to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the other grants announced today are:

  • Atlanta, GA — $280,000 – The City of Atlanta and private partners will create a new 9.2-acre community park adjacent to and inclusive of a portion of Proctor Creek in northwestern Atlanta.
  • Bridgeport, CT — $375,000 – The City of Bridgeport and private partners will transform a 4-acre project area comprising Johnson Oak Park and the grounds of the Jettie S. Tisdale School in the East End neighborhood of the city.
  • Denver, CO — $250,000 – The City of Denver and private partners will preserve 4.5 acres in the Montbello neighborhood of northeast Denver.
  • Detroit, MI – $325,000 – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and private partners will renovate and revitalize the 50+ acre Athletic Complex at Belle Isle Park.
  • Madison, WI — $295,308 – The City of Madison will continue re-development and revitalization of a vacant/underutilized former industrial area by constructing its first 20,000 sf skatepark at the newly-opened Central Park in Madison’s Near East Side.
  • Mobile, AL — $386,525 – The City of Mobile will transform Three Mile Creek from a degraded urban stormwater conveyance into a community asset that will connect diverse neighborhoods and provide new recreation opportunities.
  • Portland, OR — $500,000 – The City of Portland and private partners will develop a 25-acre park on a former brownfield in the Cully neighborhood of northeast Portland.


Jessica Kershaw
Department of Interior

April Slayton
National Park Service

Dawn Sommers, Communications & Marketing Director
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
Office: 612-230-6407 / Cell: 612-221-9915