Roseville MN Homepage
Search

News Flash

Home

Posted on: March 6, 2023

Local Groups Bring Roseville Parks and Recreation to the Next Level

Local Groups Bring Roseville Parks and Recreation to the Next Level

For decades, a trio of grassroots nonprofits have worked hand in hand with the city to nurture Roseville’s parks and recreation facilities, helping to fund critical improvements and add creative flourishes to the city’s greenspace.

Stroll the elevated boardwalk through the city’s nature preserve. Take in Roseville’s “Blooming Boulevard,” a breathtaking sweep of 7,000 flowers along Central Park’s Lexington Avenue entrance. Plan a playdate at the city’s new inclusive playground in Central Park. Amble through the Muriel Salihn Arboretum. Lace up for an ice skating excursion at the Guidant John Rose MN OVAL.

HANC Boardwalk_thumb.jpgThose features and programs were all funded by three parks philanthropies: Friends of Roseville Parks, Friends of the OVAL Foundation, and the Roseville Central Park Foundation.  

Combined, the groups have poured millions of dollars into the city’s parks system during the past half century. All three groups are amping up fundraising and recruiting new members to bring an infusion of funds and fresh ideas to their organizations.

“Roseville is a really special community that’s invested in the parks and recreation system. We have one of the best parks and recreation systems in the country. That's partially due to the efforts of these groups,” said Roseville Parks & Recreation Director Matthew Johnson. “These groups have allowed us to really take that system to the next level by allowing us to take good projects and make them exceptional.”

Both the Roseville Central Park Foundation and the Friends of Roseville Parks, or FOR Parks, were started in the 1960s. While the foundation is focused on the city’s 225-acre signature greenspace, FOR Parks promotes the development and maintenance of all of Roseville’s parks and recreational facilities.

Blooming Boulevard on Lexington Ave in Roseville, MN.Friends of Roseville Parks

“The city has their budget for the parks. We are always trying to do something that’s a little extra,” explains FOR Parks President Debby Willmus. “For example, when the city put in all the new parks buildings a few years ago, we asked, ‘What would make them a little better?’”

The answer: FOR Parks paid for all stone hearth fireplaces in the six new buildings. They added the fountain and aeriation systems at Lake Bennett in Central Park. In 2021, FOR Parks facilitated a significant, anonymous donation to upgrade the Central Park Victoria playground to a fully inclusive playground and added four accessible fitness pods to the nearby pathway loop.

FOR Parks’ marquee fundraiser is Tapped & Uncorked, an annual craft beer, wine, cider and spirits tasting event at the Guidant John Rose MN OVAL in the fall. They also host designer handbag bingo and other events throughout the year.

Victoria Inclusive Playground_homeIn 2023, growing membership and momentum is a strategic priority, said FOR Parks Board member and past president Eleanor Ostman Aune.

“Our membership has subsided in recent years especially during the pandemic when we couldn’t host events. It is important we maintain our membership because we don’t want to fade away,” Ostman Aune said. “We are very interested in getting young families involved.” Learn more about FOR Parks at FriendsofRosevilleParks.org.


Roseville Central Park Foundation

Many of the amenities that are now staples of Central Park were originally made possible by significant contributions from the Roseville Central Park Foundation. They include the interpretive building at the Harriet Alexander Nature Center, the restroom and staging area at the Muriel Sahlin Arboretum and multiple playgrounds.

A panoramic picture of Tapped and Uncorked at the Guidant John Rose MN OVAL.“Central Park is the centerpiece of the City of Roseville's extensive park system. Its 225 acres bring benefits to residents and visitors alike,” said Central Park Foundation Board Member Bob Bierscheid. “This beautiful park provides opportunities for enhancing both physical and mental health as well as fostering a sense of community.”

Most recently, the Foundation added lighting to the arboretum trails and parking lot and last fall began a project to pave all of the arboretum's pathways to make them accessible to individuals of all abilities. Learn more about the Central Park Foundation at RosevilleCentralPark.com.

Friends of the OVAL

In 1993, the city opened what is now the Guidant John Rose Minnesota OVAL - the largest refrigerated ice sheet in North America measuring in at 110,000 square feet. The Friends of the OVAL Foundation was created to build support for the regional attraction. The OVAL is part of The Roseville Skating Center, which includes the outdoor ice sheet, an indoor ice area, outdoor skate park, and a multi-purpose banquet facility.

The group is working to grow its funds to establish an endowment that can pay for major operational enhancements.

Guidant John Rose MN OVAL drone photograph.Over the years, the Friends of the OVAL have contributed to ongoing operational expenses and to a number of key facility upgrades including the netting that separates hockey players from recreational skaters, emergency refrigeration system repairs, and updates to the sound and video equipment.

“The Friends of the OVAL is here to support the operation of the OVAL and to help the community understand what a great asset it is and to build a strong base of support,” said Luci Botzek, Friends of the OVAL Foundation president.

Botzek said they plan to establish a new annual fundraiser, to replace the Chill Gala and are seeking new members.

Johnson praised the public-philanthropic partnerships that helped the city build and maintain its nationally recognized parks system.

"Our friends group really take our existing strong assets and make them exceptional, both financially and with their ongoing support and advocacy. We couldn’t do what we do without these groups,” Johnson said. Learn more about Friends of the OVAL at SkatetheOval.com.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Home

Highway 36 Public Meetings March 2024.

Share your Feedback for Hwy 36

Posted on: February 28, 2024
MicrosoftTeams-image (72)

Help Name Roseville’s New Park

Posted on: February 23, 2024
MLK volunteer event 2024.

MLK Day Natural Resources Event

Posted on: January 9, 2024
City offices, including the License and Passport Center, will be closed on January 1 for New Year’s

City Offices Closed Jan 1

Posted on: December 21, 2023
2024 City Budget and Tax Levy Approved.

2024 City Budget and Tax Levy Approved

Posted on: December 6, 2023
A "Thin Ice" sign at Lake Bennett in Roseville's Central Park.

Caution: Thin Ice at Central Park

Posted on: December 5, 2023
Metro Tranist G-Line comment period ending soon

METRO G Line Comment Period Ends Nov 6

Posted on: October 30, 2023
Pollinator Friendly Fall Yard Care Tips

Pollinator Friendly Fall Yard Care Tips

Posted on: October 26, 2023
What type of water service do you have?

The City of Roseville needs your help!

Posted on: October 19, 2023
Commitment to Connectivity, The City of Roseville continues to build more pathways.

Commitment to Connectivity

Posted on: September 25, 2023
Community Pride Roseville at 75

Community Pride – Roseville at 75

Posted on: July 20, 2023
Fireworks safety reminders

Fireworks Safety Reminders

Posted on: June 28, 2023
Rosefest road closures 2023

Rosefest Road Closures

Posted on: June 21, 2023
Volunteer Spotlight: Carol Hansen

Volunteer Spotlight: Carol Hansen

Posted on: April 6, 2023
Living with Coyotes

Living with Coyotes

Posted on: April 3, 2023
Minnesota Recycling Works. A woman holds a bin full of recyclables.

Minnesota Recycling Works

Posted on: March 20, 2023
Roseville Tree Sale preview is now open.

2023 Spring Tree Sale Opens March 1

Posted on: February 7, 2023
2023 Budget Finalized and Approved

2023 City Budget Finalized and Approved

Posted on: December 20, 2022
Please join us for a community visioning event on January 10.

Community Visioning Event Jan. 10

Posted on: January 10, 2023
People ice skate at the Guidant John Rose MN OVAL.

Roseville Winter Fun

Posted on: November 30, 2022
roseville-thanksgiving-closures

City Offices Closed November 24 and 25

Posted on: November 25, 2022
"Winter in Roseville" with a picture of a snowplow in the background.

Winter In Roseville

Posted on: November 14, 2022
volunteer-spotlight-jessica-raygor

Volunteer Spotlight: Jessica Raygor

Posted on: November 10, 2022
trick-or-treat-safety-icons-2

Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips

Posted on: October 31, 2022
2023-budget-update

2023 Budget Update

Posted on: October 27, 2022
drive-through-grocery-event

Free Drive-Through Grocery Event

Posted on: October 24, 2022
pocahontas-park

Help Rename Pocahontas Park

Posted on: October 13, 2022
Give blood at Roseville Fire Station on October 21 and receive a $10 gift card.

Give Blood and Receive a $10 Gift Card

Posted on: October 13, 2022
hehaling-gardens-muriel-sahlin

Sign up for Healing Gardens Guided Tour

Posted on: September 22, 2022
roseville-elections-2

2022 Roseville Election Results

Posted on: September 21, 2022
City Appoints Two New Commissioners

City Appoints Two New Commissioners

Posted on: September 21, 2022
Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer Update

Posted on: August 30, 2022
utility-bill

Understanding Your Utility Bill

Posted on: August 31, 2022
roseville-elections

2022 Election Candidate Forums

Posted on: August 24, 2022
Hispanic Heritage Month Graphic with designs

City Recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted on: August 26, 2022
2023-budget-by-function

2023 Budget Discussions Move Forward

Posted on: August 23, 2022

Community Corner: Reservoir Woods

Posted on: August 31, 2022
three volunteers pose for photo while planting red and green flowers along Lexington Avenue in Rosev

Lexington Ave In Bloom

Posted on: July 8, 2022
water faucet

Annual Water Quality Report Released

Posted on: June 30, 2022
mapping-prejudice

Mapping Prejudice in Ramsey County

Posted on: June 16, 2022
juneteenth-square

Juneteenth Celebration - @ The ROG

Posted on: June 16, 2022
plant-harvest-taste-enews

Free Kids Gardening Classes

Posted on: June 2, 2022
new-commissioners

City Appoints Three New Commissioners

Posted on: March 23, 2022
redistricting-graphic

Council approves new precinct maps

Posted on: March 29, 2022
Brosnahan

Q&A with Fire Chief David Brosnahan

Posted on: March 4, 2022
Open to Business photo

Roseville is Open to Business

Posted on: January 19, 2022
  1. Roseville MN Homepage

Contact Us

  1. Roseville City Hall

  2. 2660 Civic Center Drive

  3. Roseville, MN 55113


  4. Monday - Friday
    8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


  5. Phone: 651-792-7000

  6. Email Us

Arrow Left Arrow Right
Slideshow Left Arrow Slideshow Right Arrow