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Veterans Park plans at Sunnybrook shaping up

Photo by Rachelle Klemme NDSU landscape architecture students Molly Morris from Minneapolis, Kelsey Windrum from White Bear Lake and Dan Nipstead from Kindred, N.D. take in Sunnybrook Park including the playground.

The Veterans Park project at Sunnybrook is moving forward with ideas and cost estimates.

A group of NDSU landscape architecture students, headed by Land Elements project manager Josh McKinney, took notebooks, cameras and camcorders to Sunnybrook Park late Wednesday morning and then headed to lunch and presentation to the Veterans Park committee at the Wadena VFW.

Veteran Don Ludovissie, who spearheaded the project last year, said the 16 students would be able to eventually give them a conceptual design and cost estimate so the committee can begin fundraising.

On May 2, the committee is scheduled to go to Fargo to review the sketches and plans, and Ludovissie said they hope to have something final by the end of May.

Gary Orcutt, a committee member who had been an architect in military service, had contacted the group.

The Veterans Park boundaries go from the south side of Sunnybrook Park on U.S. Highway 10 to the RV campgrounds, but the students enjoyed the nice day and also explored the rest of the park to get ideas.

KcKenzie Wollman, sophomore from Bismarck, said they researched the internet and took inventory about what was there prior to actually visiting Wadena and doing the analysis, taking photos, observing and listening.

Kene Okigbo, sophomore from Fargo, said as far as he knew it was everyone's first visit to this park. A few students have connections to Detroit Lakes and Park Rapids.

Ludovissie said the project will require support and enthusiasm from the community.

"It has a potential for being a really great park," he said.

He emphasized that the Veterans Park is not only for Wadena County, but the rest of the local area including towns in northern Todd County and eastern Otter Tail County. They currently have cemetery lists from different towns including Ottertail, Verndale, Bluegrass and Bertha with the determination that no veteran from the area will be left out of the project.