Memorial Park Task Force created with parks officials, veterans

Memorial Park

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Veterans came out in full force to speak against a plan to put an athletics complex in Memorial Park, but they said improvements do need to be done, and they want to help. The Fort Wayne Parks Department is inviting them to do so.

“There’s work to be done at Memorial Park that’s for sure,” Allen Co.Council of Veterans Organizations Commander James Olds said.

There’s word to be done, but what does that work look like?

A plan submitted to the Board of Park Commissioners for Indiana Tech to build an athletics complex was strongly opposed by the veteran community as it may have compromised statues and landscaping in the park honoring veterans. That plan was pulled, and now a Memorial Park Task Force made up of Parks Department representatives, a councilman and veterans has been created.

“Take a look at Memorial Park, the usage of Memorial Park, the condition, the monuments in the park, the landscaping, the trees,” Parks Department Deputy Director of Finance Garry Morr said.

Morr will lead the task force, and Olds is one of the members.

“One of the statues has been decapitated,” Olds said. “We’d like to see the head replaced. Planting more memorial trees, replacing the ones that have died or been cut down.”

The Task Force will make a list of recommended improvements to give to the Board by November to make sure Memorial Park improvements are put in the next budget.

“It is absolutely a priority,” Morr said. “Right now it’s a top priority.”

Olds said veterans are ready to defend the park. The Allen County Council of Veterans Organizations represents all the veterans groups in the county, and will bring all their feedback to the Task Force.