S.D. lawmakers recognize Veterans Honor Park project

PARK SUPPORTERS have provided the above illustration of a proposed honor park for military veterans that they would create along S. Washington Ave. in Madison. Construction is scheduled to start in the spring.

Supporters of a Veterans Honor Park in Madison recently received recognition from South Dakota lawmakers for their efforts to build the park.

Members of Madison's American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars chapters are conducting a fund-raising campaign to design and construct the veterans park. The park -- located along S. Washington Ave. -- is intended to honor area veterans and their families.

The South Dakota Legislature approved House Commemoration 8008, a bill recognizing the establishment of the Madison park and supporting the creation of the Veterans Honor Park in the city. HC8008 was recently read and approved in both the state House of Representatives and the state Senate.

The local organizers of the honor park project credited Dist. 8 Rep. Marli Wiese as the driving force behind passage of the legislative commemoration. Wiese, a Madison resident, was assisted in introducing the bill to her fellow lawmakers by Dist. 8 Sen. Jordan Youngberg, a Chester resident.

Daniel Fritz and Kim Verhey, both of Madison and honor park committee members, traveled to Pierre on Feb. 4 on behalf of the Veterans Honor Park project and were introduced to the members of House by Wiese.

"It was a great honor for us to represent the Veterans Honor Park at the state Capitol for this monumental occasion," said Fritz.

Fund-raising for the Madison Honor Park is currently under way with the overall goal of collecting between $750,000 to $1 million for the complete construction of memorials, park walkways and features, and landscaping. The park supporters plan to have construction start this spring.

"The timetable for construction of the Honor Park is wholly dependent upon the amount and timing of donations that are received," said Verhey.

More information about the Madison honor park project is available at VFW Post 2638 in Madison or on the chapter's Facebook page, titled Veterans Honor Park.