Lemon Grove gives Veteran Park a new look

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Constructed in the 1980s, Lemon Grove’s Veterans Park suffered many challenges. With ongoing budget and graffiti problems, the appearance of the park turned it into more of a shambled plot. In 2012, the City of Lemon Grove began working with Journey Community Church of La Mesa and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5112 to bring the park back to life.

Conversion of the rundown patch of land into a military shrine ended with celebrating the new park with a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 30.

Constructed in the 1980s, Lemon Grove’s Veterans Park suffered many challenges. With ongoing budget and graffiti problems, the appearance of the park turned it into more of a shambled plot. In 2012, the City of Lemon Grove began working with Journey Community Church of La Mesa and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5112 to bring the park back to life.

Conversion of the rundown patch of land into a military shrine ended with celebrating the new park with a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 30.

Lemon Grove City Manager Graham Mitchell, along with city officials, dedicated the revitalization of Veterans Park with “Pomp and Circumstance” and the hoisting of the American flag by members of VFW Post 5112.
“Frankly, many residents of Lemon Grove don’t even know this park exists,” said Mitchell. “With some ingenuity, staff members, volunteers and a generous donation from the VFW, we’ve been able to transform this forsaken piece of land into something that looks special, and something that is here to commemorate those that have served our country.”

Brown said most of the credit for resurrecting the park belonged to the city.
“The city put Veterans Park together,” said Brown. “All we did as a VFW Post was donate the flagpole and the flags. There wasn’t a flagpole there, so we went to the city and said we would put a flagpole there and maintain it forever.”

Mitchell said the memorial is special to the city and it is grateful for the ongoing partnership with the VFW and David Merk of Journey Community Church.
“David and a group of 30 or more volunteers provided more than 200 hours at this park,” said Mitchell.

He said Veteran Park’s success is due to the many volunteers and more than $1,500 in donated equipment and materials. Volunteers and city staff planted trees and shrubs, installed a drip irrigation system, spread mulch, and created a winding pathway through the park. Creating a tribute to each branch of the Armed Forces and a new flagpole finished the city’s tribute to military veterans.

“It’s a place where people can come and reflect about servicemen and women who’ve dedicated their lives to preserve our freedoms,” said Mitchell.

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