Walk of Honor
Come stroll or sit a spell at Veterans’ Park and you’ll soon feel in touch with Wahkons history of service to community and nation. A fine resting spot for visitors, the park features memorials, evergreen-shaded benches, picnic tables and playground equipment for the kids.
Until just recently Veterans’ Park, anchoring the south end of Wahkon’s Main Street, was an occasionally used playground with an often overlooked memorial. Now the park at 505 N. Main Street welcomes visitors and residents with features both honoring veterans and community members, past and present, as well as offering a play area on Wahkon Bay.
Veterans’ Park’s life and focus changed when WAVE volunteers, Midway Garden Club and veterans groups banded together to create a Walk to Honor. Its pavers are donated by families of soldiers, sailors and airmen in remembrance of their service to their country.
The original park was marked with a small bronze plaque dedicated to the service of World War I veterans from the Wahkon area. Now it is a well-landscaped area with a walkway which was newly-dedicated in 2012 after nearly two years of effort by residents. The Walk to Honor continues to grow as the pavers are purchased by veterans and their family members for years to come. Notable are the blocks honoring vets who served during the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and through many years up to the Middle Eastern conflicts. Also underway is a path of Community Pavers dedicated to past and present community members who have been instrumental in developing and fostering the Wahkon area.
The park’s transformation began with a volunteer crew enlisted to clear out brush and trees to leave the healthy evergreens to flourish. Volunteers and city staff also worked on the initial phases of the bridge connecting Veterans’ and City Parks. A sturdy culvert and rock landscaping helps direct the flow of a seasonal stream running into the lake. The work is just beginning for an ambitious project to continue not only the paved walks but the overall landscaping. Long-term plans also call for a black granite six-sided monument honoring all branches of the armed services.
Throughout the work and beyond, Veterans’ Park has been renewed as a favorite spot for visitors and locals alike to enjoy the broad vistas of Mille Lacs Lake. The entire site is lovingly maintained by volunteers and the city staff. Visitors are encouraged to help keep the site tidy.
Walk of Honor
The Wahkon Area Vision Effusion (WAVE) Committee’s next project will be renovation of Wahkon’s Veterans Park located on South Main across from Walleye Dundee’s Resort. This is a big challenge and will take years to complete. Plans include new wall, landscaping, “Walk of Honor” path, stone bridge and a beautiful six-sided black granite monument honoring all branches of the armed forces. As far as we know, this is the only Veterans Park in the area.