Freedom Rock groundbreaking
Wed, 07/12/2017 - 1:20pm admin
Marcie Klomp News Editor email@example.com
CRESCO - Groundbreaking for the Freedom Rock Memorial Park fittingly took place over the Independence Day holiday, on July 3.
Legion and VFW members who are on the Freedom Rock Committee were on hand to dig that first shovel of dirt. Chairman Jim Perry is excited to see the physical work being done on the site, on the corner of 3rd St. (Granger Road) and Highway 9 at the stoplight.
Lots of leg work went into the project before it made it to this stage, including having Cresco named the Howard County recipient of the Freedom Rock from painter Ray “Bubba” Sorenson. Next a piece of property had to be found and money raised.
When Chris Reicks of Reicks Monument & Stone was asked to come up with a design for the park, the project got even bigger!
Perry said, “Our goal was to raise $150,000, which would pay for the park, as well as leave money to maintain it. The response has been outstanding!”
The committee started with contacting nearly every business in Howard County to give them the opportunity to name a piece of the park, such as the gazebo ($25,000), trickle pond ($15,000), benches ($10,000 and $5,000) and flag poles ($3,000).
Money has come from every community, including businesses, organizations and individuals. The committee is still a ways from meeting its goal, but is happy to be able to start work on the park, which should be taking shape before RAGBRAI®, July 27.
Perry says of Reicks Monument & Stone, “Chris has been great to work with. He is very conscientious and knows what he is doing.”
Reicks has designed the park around the Freedom Rock, which is set to be painted in October. The park includes perennial flowers and plants, as well as six beds for annuals in the shape of stars. Perry explained he is asking local organizations if they would be interested in helping with those. “We’re (veterans) not spring chickens,” he joked.
The park will also have a gazebo over the rock, which will preserve the paint, rather than have it out in the sun. It is believed Howard County’s rock is the first to have a cover.
In addition, there will be black granite monuments, benches and a trickle pond.
Reicks has agreed to do maintenance on the park in the spring and fall free of charge.
The city of Cresco is taking care of the mowing, electricity and water. “The veterans will be responsible for the rest.”
The veterans will have a booth during RAGBRAI® to give information about the town, area and Freedom Rock. They are also going to be creating some inter-service rivalry by having donation buckets with each branch of the military - Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. “We’ll see who gets the most donations,” Perry smiled.
Regardless of which branch comes out on top, it will be the Freedom Rock Memorial Park and veterans who will be the big winners.
Interested in donating? Tax deductible checks can be made out to American Legion Post 135 Freedom Rock, 113 S. Park Place, Cresco, IA 52136, or give the donation at CUSB Banks. If the donation makes it to a sponsorship level ($250 is the lowest amount), the donor will be named in the park.