Sidney Park Project receives six-figure matching grant for proposed upgrades in Legion Park

SIDNEY, NE — A community effort to upgrade Sidney's largest playground is in line to receive a big boost. 

The Sidney Community Donor Advised Fund is planning to donate $200,000 to the project. Sidney Park Project President Madi Wilkinson said the fund is challenging the community to match the grant two-to-one and raise $400,000 to their $200,000 donation. 

Wilkinson says contributions from the community can come in many forms, including individual donations, grants, business donations and stocks and commodities.

The grant would cover nearly one-third of the expense of the project which will cost $650,000. 

The Sidney Park Project's goal is to overhaul the playground in Sidney's Legion Park. The group behind the effort hopes to bring in brand new equipment and make the area more inclusive for kids of all ability levels.

“This is the playground equipment I played on as a child more than 25 years ago,” Wilkinson said in a statement. “To say it’s time for a playground renovation is an understatement.”

According to the Sidney Park Project website, organizers have raised over $76,000 since starting fundraising effort in April. More community events are planned to bring in money. 

“There are many different types of fundraising events planned throughout the summer and fall and the playground committee will be writing grant applications to other entities, but we really need all Sidney residents to consider giving back to their community and help in making this project a reality,” Park Project Vice President Ally Benzel said.

If you want to donate, you can go to the Sidney Park Project website, which is linked above, or send a check made out to City Park Project, PO Box 296 in Sidney, NE 69162.

The Sidney Park Project will be hosting a park cleanup at the playground Monday, June 7, from 6 to 7 p.m. 

The Sidney Community Donor Advised Fund is an affiliated fund of the Nebraska Community Foundation.