Hunters Memorial Park To Open This Fall

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A few months ago, a Rice Lake landowner donated a plot of land to the city, hoping it would serve as a memorial to the victims of the Sawyer County Shootings. He also pitched the idea to the Heart of the North Builders Association, a group that some of the victims belonged to.

"They were all part of the building trade and they would be very happy over the whole thing," said Paul Drew, whose father Denny was one of six hunters killed on November 21st.

He's been a part of the planning stages since the beginning, when the group decided to buy a neighboring piece of land, doubling the available space.

"I think it's a wonderful spot for a playground area and a pavillion."

The thing that sets this park apart from others will be the four-foot memorial with the names of the victims etched in stone. Not to mention the fact that the park itself is a long-standing tribute to the outdoor activities the families love.

"All of us lived in the country...outside was the place to be. If you couldn't go outside, you weren't having fun."

The Builder's Association is leading the fund-raising charge. They'll need to bring in $210,000 to pay for it.

"We're designing the park specifically for low-maintenence and to be vandal-proof," said Park Committee Chairman Dan Rassbach.

"I think it's good just to remind people that things like that can happen here-we're not so isolated from the world," City Park Board Chairman Bob Enderle said.

"Everybody's different, but if it helps one person-great," Drew said.
Ground breaking is scheduled for August, and on the strength of donated labor and materials, it's expected to be built by October.