Grant advances plan to expand, upgrade Veteran’s Memorial Park

Published 11:53 am Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mayor Kathleen McMillian has announced that the Town of Columbus was awarded an $8,000 Unrestricted Funds grant from the Polk County Community Foundation. The grant money will be used for planned improvements to the Veteran&squo;s Park in Columbus.

Mayor McMillian said, &dquo;I want to thank the Community Foundation for their support of the Veteran&squo;s Park and the Town of Columbus. We are fortunate to have this beautiful park for our families to enjoy. &bsp;

&dquo;With this seed money and with the support of other philanthropic and individual groups, the park expansion and upgrade can become a reality.&dquo;

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The Veteran&squo;s Park Project includes plans to purchase adjacent property to expand the park and protect it from commercial encroachment; build a 30&squo; X 40&squo; stage shelter over the existing concrete pad; and refurbish the fountain.

Veteran&squo;s Park honors more than 2,800 Polk County veterans. The Park already provides a location for many events, such as the Annual Fire Department Gospel Singing and Saturdays in the Park. Family and community groups use the park for special events, and it serves as a destination for honor and remembrance.

With a shelter and covered stage, the park will have the facilities to host additional events and serve as a community gathering place. Land purchased to expand the park and to protect it from commercial encroachment may be used in the future to construct outdoor seating.

Town council member Rick McCallister added, &dquo;We appreciate this grant on behalf of the Town and our Veterans. Veterans&squo; Parks are so important to our community and our nation in remembering for all generations the sacrifices made by our veterans for our freedoms and privileges.&uot;

Columbus is continuing the sale of bricks to honor veterans, both living and those who are deceased. For more information about how to honor a veteran and support the Veteran&squo;s Park expansion project, contact Tim Holleman at the Columbus Town Hall, 894-8236.