Vikings build playground for children in St. Paul, Minn.

The construction of the new U.S. Bank Stadium is nearing completion and Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer continues to build the team into a force on the field. But on Thursday, the Vikings were all about creating something for the children of St. Paul, Minn. 

The players pitched in a few helping hands at Linwood Monroe Elementary for the Vikings’ 11th annual playground build.

“It is important to us as Vikings to win on the field, but in the community as well,” Zimmer said.

This new playground is not only for the school. It is also meant for the entire community around Linwood.

“St. Paul has beautiful parks, but there aren’t as many is this particular patch,” Linwood Monroe principal Bryan Bass said. “An option like this for our neighbors and our students is a great bonus.”

Some players put down the pads and picked up a paint brush, while the linemen were put on landscaping duty. Plenty of work went around on the elementary campus, but so too did the smiles for a great cause.

“It really means a lot to come here to give back and see their joy,” defensive tackle Linval Joseph said.

The Vikings have been building playgrounds for over a decade now, but every year is a new adventure for some veteran players on the Minnesota roster.

“You see these kids come out and see how happy they are to see the playground,” defensive end Brian Robison said. “It is an awesome thing to be a part of and we love doing it every year.”

It also gives players another chance to come face to face with the future of Minnesota.

“I wish I saw more of this when I was in my hometown,” cornerback Mackensie Alexander said. “As a kid, this is huge. It can go a long way.”