Ex-Buffalo Bills Owner’s Foundation Pledges $100 Million to Detroit Riverfront  –  Deadline Detroit

Redevelopment plans for West Riverfront Park are sweeping and ambitious. (Illustrations from Detroit Riverfront Conservancy)

A foundation endowed by former Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, who died in 2014 at age 95, is contributing $100 million to help the Detroit River Conservancy redevelop West Riverfront Park and extend trails, writes Daniel Howes of The Detroit News.

A beach cove is among proposed attractions.

The gift will help finish recreation trails between the Ambassador Bridge and Belle Isle. The waterside park off Ford Street in Southwest Detroit will be renamed the Ralph C. Wilson Centennial Park.

The effort, which is being announced Wednesday, will be replicated at LaSalle Park in Buffalo, where the longtime Grosse Pointe Shores industrialist became a civic fixture as the founding owner of its NFL franchise that began league play in 1960.

Altogether, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation will invest $200 million in parks and trail initiatives totaling 250 miles, and each will be named “Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park” to mark this, the 100th year of his birth. Born 100 years ago today, he died on March 25, 2014, and his trust sold the Bills six months later.

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