A very excited committee started working on the idea of the passive park, what components should be included? How should it look? What plants and trees should be planted? A gazebo was planned, a flag pole, benches, walkways and of course a monument. It was decided that the gathering area should include bricks that can be engraved to honor our military men and women. Members of the Plant City Garden Club, Darcy Stottlemyer, landscape design consultant and then President Cassandra Banning were invited to join the committee and helped to design the gardens, walkways and make recommendations on trees and plants. A red, white and blue color scheme was planned, with something blooming throughout the year.
The Plant City Garden Club donated $20,000.00, making it the third largest donor. Southwest Florida Water Management donated the large grouping of rocks for the gardens. It wasn’t just money that was donated many hours of work and donated materials went into making the Veterans’ Monument a reality. Many of the plants and trees were donated, they were planted by volunteers from the Garden Club, Plant City High School students, Plant City Parks and Recreation Division, and members of the community who just wanted to help. It didn’t stop there as many volunteer hours and dollars were given freely in all aspects of the planning and execution in bringing the monument and park from an idea to reality. Over 1100 plants and 48 trees were planted by volunteers.
The Veterans’ Memorial Park at Courier Field, the only veteran’s memorial and monument in East Hillsborough County, is not just a beautiful park and memorial honoring our men and women who have served in all branches of the military but it is also a beautiful gateway to our City. The Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker was placed permanently in the Park along Wheeler St.
This beautiful park and memorial along with The Blue Star Memorial Marker was dedicated on July 1, 2010 with over 750 attending during a rain storm. No one minded getting wet we were all so proud of our Veterans’ Memorial Park at Courier Field and as we were appropriately reminded our military are out there no matter what the weather is, doing their job to protect us.