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Excelsior So-Hi playground grand-opening on June 15

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The So-Hi Community Park, located south of Highway 7, has completed phase one of its playground project and will hold a grand opening from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 15. The event will feature hot dogs, popsicles, music and games for children.

The playground project, which began 13 months ago, is a collaborative effort among So-Hi Community Park, Excelsior Morning Rotary Club, Excelsior United Methodist Church, Hennepin County Youth Sports, Excelsior Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, the city of Excelsior, local businesses and the community. The playground provides a safe, ADA-accessible and engaging environment for children of all ages.

“We have been dreaming about the possibility of a neighborhood playground for a long time. Thanks to so many community members and partners, this dream was able to come to fruition for the benefit of all the children and families of Excelsior and Shorewood,” said Pastor Brooke Herwald Steiner, lead pastor of Excelsior United Methodist Church.

According to the press release, the initiative has been able to raise almost $340,000. Early in 2023, the city of Excelsior and Excelsior United Methodist Church established an agreement allowing the church to dedicate a section of its land on the south side of Highway 7 for a public playground. So-Hi Community Park, a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation, now leases this land and secured a $50,000 grant from the Hennepin County Youth Sports program. Funding for HCYS grants comes from the Twins Ballpark.

Following the initial grant, the Excelsior Morning Rotary joined as a founding sponsor, becoming the major donor and assisting in organizing, planning and soliciting additional funding, while Excelsior Mount Calvary Lutheran Church and the Mount Calvary Lutheran Church Foundation were also key founding sponsors. Local businesses like Minnetonka Marina, the Youngstedts Companies and the Excelsior Noon Rotary also provided crucial support.

So-Hi Community Park continues its fundraising efforts to add additional ADA-specific equipment, a sunshade structure, picnic tables, and extra seating. So-Hi Community Park Board will begin planning later this year for phase two, adding basketball courts and hoops for girls and boys ages 8-18.

Community members are encouraged to donate online at the So-Hi Community Park donation page, or mail a check to:

So-Hi Community Park
881 3rd Ave
Excelsior, MN 55331

Link to Article

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