— By BRIAN SMITH
Concept work on the proposed Veteran’s Memorial at Soldier Spring Park was approved by the Weatherford Parks and Recreation Board during Tuesday night’s meeting.
Elizabeth McIlrath, a project manager with Dunaway and Associates, gave a detailed presentation of some of the things being considered for the park. All items will be implemented as funds become available from the fundraising efforts by Gold Star Families and local American Legion and VFW posts.
To allow the three groups to focus on fundraising, city officials have taken over working with Dunaway on plans for the park, which will border Thrush Street. Two plans were presented to the three groups during a recent work session with a “hybrid” of the two being decided on.
McIlrath said the plan incorporates what the groups wanted while not decimating the natural beauty of the area. “It’s already a beautiful park and we have everything that was requested in there,” McIlrath said. “I hope the veterans groups will see the improvements to the park.”
A memorial green will be the centerpiece of the facility, with a natural walkway leading to an area for larger events.
A 50-seat pavilion will be included with seating along a lawn area that could hold 200-300 people, McIlrath said. The pavilion could be used for rentals when not in use as well.
Fundraising for a walk of honor, which includes bricks with the names of military members who have served, has started. More than 300 bricks have already been sold with room for up to 4,000 bricks in the walk, McIlrath said.
Benches and plantings will be placed along the walkway itself and in an area bordering the memorial green.
At the north end of the memorial will be a prayer garden with seating and planting for those who need to get away and have some quiet time for reflection.
A war memorial is planned, showing the wars America has fought and is considered to be an ideal place for field trips and group outings. Part of the area, scheduled for the south end of the memorial, would also include information on how Soldier Spring Park got its name.
The plan now goes to the city council for their approval. Once that is given, a cost estimate list for all the areas will be compiled, McIlrath said.