Dream becoming a reality

Iron River, WI

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Bare bones beginning of the walk to the memorial site.

On May 7, 2017, we first posted an article about this yet-to-become veterans memorial and park. The following is a published story about that dream becoming a reality.

"As of Nov. 15, 2017, the Across The Pond Veterans Park has become a reality. Ray Kangas had this dream many years ago, and finally, with the help of many volunteers donating hours of work, the Park has come into being.
The park's mission statement: “To honor all members of the military, past and present, providing opportunities, resources and a location for education, socialization and rehabilitation, with the purpose to guide and prepare for the future.”
The 10-acre plot, at the corner of Highway 2 and Red Wine Road just west of Iron River, has been surveyed and the deed drawn up by Bayfield County, the status of nonprofit has been established, and work has begun! The survey was done by Pat McKuen of Pine Ridge Land Surveying, Inc., as a donation to the park. This was in addition to the donated work of Dennis Glass, Dennis Glass Construction, and the first phase of clearing the land provided by Rich Wiitala, of Rich’s Brush Tree Clearing & Removal! All these volunteers are veterans of the military.
The first phase of the project will include the beautiful memorial itself, with flags of every military organization displayed, an area to sit and view the memorial, paths to walk, and a parking lot. This phase has begun, as shown in the photos: the beginnings of trails through the trees, and Rich’s machine clearing brush. The memorial will have pavers with names that will be part of the wall, available through fundraising. The land slopes behind the memorial to overlook the flowage to the east, a beautiful, tranquil spot.
The second phase, hopefully to be started in the near future, is to include a community-accessible building, an RV and camping area, and walking paths, all handicap-accessible and open to the public. Much needs to be done and the Across The Pond Veterans Park board members will be asking for help from our communities. A tentative date has been set for the groundbreaking ceremonies of May 18, 2018. For more information, contact Ray Kangas at 715-372-4654, or visit the website, acrossthepondpark.org.
This project has generated much excitement and anticipation, and we all look forward to working together to complete this beautiful setting for all our visitors!"

Submitted by:
Eileen K. Bentzen

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