City Receives Funding for Recreational Center Feasibility Study


City of Roseau receives $40,000 Blandin Foundation Leadership Boost Grant

Roseau, Minn. (Oct. 5, 2022) – City of Roseau will use a $40,000 Blandin Foundation Leadership Boost Grant to undertake a Community/Wellness Center Facility Study.

Leadership Boost Grants were launched to encourage Minnesotans living in rural and Tribal communities to be visionary and creative as they move their communities forward after two years of snowballing challenges.  

“The last two years of complex crises have taken a toll on leaders across rural Minnesota,” said Sonja Merrild, director of rural grantmaking at Blandin Foundation. “In times like this, of great challenge and opportunity, the resilience and fortitude of rural people and places shines through. Yet, we recognize the critical need for more resources to move small communities from where they are to where they want to go.”  

More than 300 Letters of Interest were submitted for funding, far more than anticipated. Based on the type of requests received, Blandin Foundation opened three grant rounds for Community Planning, Capital Projects in small towns under 3,000 people, and Creative Placemaking. To better support the many strong requests, the total amount of funding available increased from $1 million to $5.5 million after Blandin Foundation’s board approved an additional $3 million in June and a $1.5 million grant was secured from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

“Rural and Tribal places simply don’t get their fair share of funding and resources,” said Merrild. “When we see stats like only 5 percent of philanthropic dollars and 10 percent of federal small business loan funds go to rural, this creates resource roadblocks to future opportunity. While the leaky pipes intended to bring resources into rural communities need a complete overhaul, Leadership Boost Grants are one way we can spark energy and action toward sustainable rural futures.”  

The City of Roseau was invited to submit a full application for a Community Planning grant.

The Blandin Foundation funds will be used by the City of Roseau to engage a consultant architectural firm, JLG Architects, to to seek community input and study options for a community gathering and wellness facility.

“An indoor recreation and community center has been a top priority for Roseau for many years; however, a lack of resources has never allowed us to move forward in developing a plan to meet this pressing need.  This grant will provide the community with the initial capital needed to determine the feasibility of such a project.” Community Development Coordinator Todd Peterson.

For more on Blandin Foundation’s Rural Leadership Boost Grants, and to see other grantee projects, visit


Media Contacts

Todd Peterson, Community Development Coordinator

City of Roseau



Blandin Foundation

Alie McInerney, Senior Rural Advocacy Associate