West Riverfront Park gets $50M from Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, will be named for him

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Proposed design for West Riverfront Park. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Proposed design for West Riverfront Park.

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. — the deceased Detroit native who founded the American Football League and was the longtime owner of the Buffalo Bills — will have a lasting impact on Detroit's riverfront. The foundation created with money from his sale of the team has announced it will donate $50 million to a new park planned for Detroit's west riverfront, and that the park will be named Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park.

The donation — timed to coincide with Wilson's 100th birthday — is only the half of it. The foundation will also donate an additional $50 million to building trails throughout Southeast Michigan.
Similar gifts were announced for Buffalo, Wilson's second home.



The president of Wilson's billion-dollar foundation tells Curbed Detroit that Wilson would have appreciated the gifts made in his honor, as he "loved exercise and being outside and near the water."

You can read more about the impact the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is having in Detroit here.



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