Work on the new Veterans Park, located on the southeast corner of Harrisburg Veterans Road and Route 49, is expected to kick into high gear over the next few weeks.
Harrisburg Parks and Recreation Director Daniel Stines says that construction crews recently completed utility and drainage installation, as well as grading work, on the roughly 1.1-acre property that sits inside the new Publix shopping center, and that the $540,000 project remains on pace for a Veterans Day grand opening.
Ground was broken on Harris Square Veterans Park, which will honor the five branches of the U.S. military, over Memorial Day weekend.
The completed park will feature a three-spray foundation, an American flag, memorial plaques and bricks, benches, and an expansive lawn. Landscaping will encircle the property.
The park will also boast a war history timeline documenting the country’s major conflicts, as well as copies of the nation’s Charters of Freedom: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. “That’s going to be a unique feature of our new park,” Mr. Stines said. “It’s going to mirror what’s in the Rotunda in Washington, D.C.”
The Rotunda is the unofficial name of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., that houses the original copies of all three historic documents.
The approved park rendering can be viewed at www.harrisburgnc.org/DocumentCenter/View/1142/Harris-Square?bidId.
Officials are leaning toward hosting the town’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration at the new park, explaining that its prominent location along Route 49 makes it a better option than the lawn to the rear of Harrisburg Town Hall. The town purchased a new 36-foot-tall artificial Christmas tree for the event, using it for the first time last year, according to Mr. Stines.
He also thinks that the corner of Harrisburg Veterans Road and Route 49 is the ideal area to set aside new and permanent green space in Harrisburg, which has seen a sharp increase in new development in recent years. He says the new park brings and maintains a walkable aspect to an otherwise busy travel corridor.
“The way I see it, you really have to have a vision for 20 years, or even 15 years [down the road], and imagine what it will look like then,” Mr. Stines said.