By Mike Bunge

Rochester is getting $5 million in federal funding for improvements to Soldiers Field Park.

The money was announced Tuesday by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith.  The $5 million will allow Rochester to expand recreational activities at Soldiers Field Park, adding recreational features prioritized by the local communities that include a lap pool, diving pool, toddler pool, splash area, and bathhouse/locker facilities, and provide an inclusive playground, trail connections, and a picnic shelter.

$2.4 million in federal funding is also going to the North End Community Center Project in St. Paul and $1.3 million will go to expand and renovate Willard Park in Minneapolis.

“With our state’s lakes, parks, and trails, getting outside is central to Minnesotans’ way of life,” says Senator Klobuchar.  “By expanding green spaces and creating new outdoor recreational opportunities, this funding will help ensure that all Minnesotans, regardless of zip code, can enjoy the benefits of the outdoors.”

“Everyone should have access to outdoor spaces and recreational opportunities,” says Senator Smith.  “Yet too often these spaces are unequally distributed between wealthy and underserved communities. These new projects will help create more green spaces in economically distressed areas where our kids can play and families can enjoy the outdoors.”