Wilson Foundation gifts $500K to support Detroit riverfront park


Detroit – The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation donates $ 500,000 to help develop a park on Detroit’s west bank.

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is funded through the trust of Wilson’s late daughters Edith “Dee Dee” Wilson and Linda Bogdan.

A garden will also be created in the park in which the two women will be recognized. The park will be renamed Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park. About $ 150,000 annually from another fund is recommended to support maintenance and seasonal plantings.

“Dee Dee and Linda loved playing tennis, spending time outdoors, and enjoying gardening,” said Mary Wilson, chairman of the board of trustees and widow of Ralph C. Wilson. “When we figured out how to distribute this generous gift from their estate, we knew it was most appropriate to honor these passions in a way that lives on in the park.”

Edith Wilson died in 2020 at the age of 68. Linda Bogdan was 61 years old when she died in 2009.

The foundation also said $ 1 million from the Daughters’ trusts will support projects in the future. Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park in Buffalo, New York.

Ralph C. Wilson was born in Columbus, Ohio, but his family moved to Detroit. Wilson took over his father’s insurance business and founded the Buffalo Bills in 1959 and helped build the American Football League. He was 95 years old when he died at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, in 2014.

In 2018, his foundation announced a $ 50 million investment in West Riverfront Park. The park is 8.9 acres along the Detroit River. It is part of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s plan to develop 8.8 kilometers of the riverbank.

The nature reserve will officially lay the foundation stone for the future Centennial Park later this year. It is expected to open in 2023.

The conservation company has invested more than $ 200 million in revitalizing the city’s riverfront.


Dusty Kennedy