Veterans Foundation "very proud" of moving park project to Altoona

It was an emotional night of public comment from those who support and those who oppose the naming of a park in downtown Eau Claire.
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Eau Claire County Veterans Foundation said it is "very proud" of a new location for its planned Veterans Tribute in Altoona’s River Prairie Park development.

“In our mission to preserve Eau Claire County history and inspire and educate visitors about the service and sacrifice of local veterans, we are excited to have access to the many amenities available within the River Prairie Park development,” project organizer Mark Beckfield said, through a statement released Thursday.

The $2.2 million project was set to be located in the green space off Forest Street in Eau Claire and include monuments, green space and a Veterans Tribute Trail. However, a controversy centered on the name of the project developed between City of Eau Claire officials and the veterans foundation.

That prompted the Eau Claire County Veterans Foundation earlier this month to ask for a delay in the process with Eau Claire. Then, on Monday, they announced the move from Eau Claire to Altoona.

“With easy access from Hwy 53, the tribute will be visible from the highway and accommodate large groups for school field trips and Veteran events,” the statement said. “The site comes complete with ample parking and exceptional handicap access to a river trail, the flag honor mall, as well an outdoor amphitheater.

“We look forward to working with the City of Altoona and their talented team of developers to give Eau Claire County a Veterans tribute it can be proud of for generations to come.”