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Red Wing Area Fund reports good year

The Red Wing Area Fund is proud of the work it did in 2012, said Chair Suzanne Blue.

The local nonprofit recently released its 2012 annual report to the community.

“We had a very good year in that we got a considerable amount of donations to our fund,” Blue said, which allowed for participation in a number of projects.

The report highlights grants to projects such as a $100,000 final payment on a three-year pledge for barn restoration at the Anderson Center and $186,000 to the city of Red Wing for restoration work at Memorial Park on Sorin’s Bluff.

Other contributions included support for the Red Wing public schools, city of Red Wing, Sheldon Theatre, YMCA and Youth Outreach.

The organization doesn’t do annual fundraising, she said, and they “pretty much depend on memorials and estates.”

The fund received $234,696 from contributors in 2012, according to the report.

Grants from the Red Wing Area Fund generally fall into two categories — those projects that are initiated by the organization and support for other community work.

The nonprofit has put more than $11 million toward projects over the years, according to its website.

A major 2012 project was the Memorial Park work.

“The main thing we initiated was improving the two quarries and trailheads,” Blue said. The city was able to leverage the fund’s grant as matching funds to get state Legacy money, and it was part of a bigger project on the bluff that ranges from safety improvements to fire rings and new picnic tables.

The nonprofit also contributed $35,000 for restoration designs from Mary Vogel at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Changing Landscapes.

There still is work to complete on the bluff, Blue noted, but it is coming along well.

“We’re pretty excited about what’s happened,” she said.

Blue said that project highlights the organization’s aim to fund work that improves existing assets.

“That was an important goal for us, to get involved in something that wouldn’t create new obligations,” she said. “We want to be more involved in improvements, but those that don’t necessarily carry a large maintenance burden.”

The annual report aims to let donors, the community and fund recipients all know what the organization has been working on for the year all in one place, Blue said.

“We hope that the community is better as a result of work done and that they think of the area fund as a way to participate in the community long-term,” she said.

More information on the Red Wing Area Fund is available online at

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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