Eau Claire County Board supports building new Veterans Park

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More stories from Katrina Erskine

County Board promises $450,000 for park honoring veterans

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Eau Claire County Board supports building new Veterans Park

The new Veterans Park will be located just north of Phoenix Park, along Forest Street.

The new Veterans Park will be located just north of Phoenix Park, along Forest Street.

Photo by Sam Farley

The new Veterans Park will be located just north of Phoenix Park, along Forest Street.

Photo by Sam Farley

Photo by Sam Farley

The new Veterans Park will be located just north of Phoenix Park, along Forest Street.

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Plans for a new Veterans Park in Eau Claire have been established this year.

Mark Beckman — president of the Veterans Tribute foundation and part of the Eau Claire County Board — estimates this project will cost $1.2 million, according to the Leader-Telegram. At first, fundraising for the park came from pledges and donations, which raised $460,000. The organizers of this project had a goal to raise another $450,000 from the Eau Claire County Board.

With a 25-4 vote, the board was able to fund the $450,000, allowing the project to progress further.

After completing phase one — constructing the mall, installing lighting, and adding a quarter-mile long paved trail — construction can now enter phase two. With the board’s approval, the project will begin next year.

“Personally, I support the effort to set up the memorial,” said Nick Smiar, County Board chairman, in a Leader-Telegram article. “I support veterans. I’d like to see that memorial in place, and it would benefit the quality of life in Eau Claire.”

The park will help people remember the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers and learn about the wars in which they fought. This trail will showcase personal stories shared by the veterans, and historical documentation. It will give viewers a timeline starting with the Civil War, and ending with the War in Afghanistan. At the end of the trail, there are flags representing the Coast Guard, Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and the United States. This is a place of rest — a place to take in a tribute to veterans.  

“It will be nice being able to visit this park to appreciate people who have served,” said Alyssa Nowicki, a second-year communication science and disorders student. “It’s an amazing tribute and I hope that more of these parks are created.”

Some hometown heroes who have donated to this project are VFW Post 10405 Altoona, VFW Post 305 Eau Claire, American Legion Post 53 Eau Claire and Prestige Auto.

The park is four blocks long, under the Madison Street bridge.

Individuals can donate to the park in the forms of cash, legacy stones, benches, trees and light posts.

“People in my family have served so it would be nice to take them to this park sometime,” Hailey Anderson, a second-year visual arts and communications student, said. “It’s important to give veterans the respect they deserve.”

The park is aimed to be completed in 2022. For more information on the Veterans Park, head to https://www.ecveteransfoundation.com.

Erskine can be reached at [email protected]

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