INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. - Green Acres Park in International Falls is getting a much-needed upgrade, thanks to a grant from the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC).
As part of its 52 Weeks of Giving campaign leading up to the Super Bowl, the MNSBHC Legacy Fund is giving away 52 grants to 52 communities around the state. On Tuesday, representatives from Citizens for Backus AB received one of those grants at a ceremony at Green Acres Park.
Backus AB, a community center in International Falls, has been raising money to buy new equipment for Green Aces Park for at least four years. The Pennies for Play project was started by local children and families, and encouraged people to bring their spare change to help out the park. They have raised over $10,000 dollars since they started, and the nearly $50,000 grant will complete their fundraising efforts.
The park is in a lower-income, high-risk neighborhood where 30 percent of families fall below the poverty line. According to the community center, the current equipment was installed in the late '80s or early '90s and needs an upgrade. The community center wants to keep the playground in good condition, in order to encourage kids to get outside and play.
The Tuesday grant ceremony included a picnic lunch at the park, and a carnival with Minnesota Viking-themed games.
In addition to the grant, the crowd that gathered kept the Pennies for Play tradition alive and collected $890.78 in coins for the playground project.