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Park Foundation behind BN Park improvements

A crew from Pyramid Construction levels out fresh concrete into a circular path at Burlington Northern Park Wednesday afternoon. The walkways are part of a project the parks department is able to do through a grant from the J. Harold Peterson Wadena Parks Foundation. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

Take in the historic Depot, enjoy the shade of a tall tree or watch the trains roar by while walking the new pathways in Wadena's Burlington Northern Park.

The paths are under construction by Pyramid Construction, which constructed the paths on the east side of the park and are now completing the paths on the west side.

The new paths are made possible after the Wadena Parks Department received a grant of $31,000 from the City of Wadena Parks Foundation to pay for the cost of replacing the deteriorated tar walkways with new concrete and a large event plaza area within the west side of the park.

The Wadena City Council adopted a master plan for the park in 2006 that identified a plaza area in the west side of the park as a place for major events. The foundation also granted $28,000 in 2014 for the new concrete walkways and a shrub and flower area on the east side of the park.

Since its establishment, the foundation has granted $25,620 for trees in the city parks; $15,327 for planning grants; $13,500 for Christmas lights in BN Park; and over $7,000 for tree watering expenses following the 2010 tornado.

J. Harold Peterson, a Wadena resident who died in May 2001, established the City of Wadena Parks Foundation in 1997. The foundation's purpose is to enhance and expand funding for the city parks in addition to the city's budget for annual maintenance.

Since established, the foundation has awarded grants exceeding $185,000. The foundation is a permanent fund with only the earnings being disbursed, so that, because of the generosity of Peterson, future generations will continue to enjoy Wadena's parks.

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