The City of Greenwood has unveiled a labor of love and tribute to Veterans that will exist not only at the Veterans’ Memorial Park but in the virtual world. The new website where the information such as a bio, photos, rank and stone location are now organized and accessible on a simple website for visitors. GreenwoodVeteransMemorial.org
The park, as we see it today, was dedicated on Memorial Day in 2011. The idea began in 2007 with former Mayor Ken Edwards and other community members asking for a site to be built to honor area Veterans.
The new website was the brain child of Kimberly Brown, Tina Skaggs, and Elliot Brown. Greenwood residents who conceptualized and worked on the preliminary funding and concepts for the project. This concept earned Greenwood a grant secured through the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District in conjunction with State Rep. Charlotte Douglas. The City received a grant for 10,000 for use in the Greenwood Park System. The website project cost $2900 and the remainder of the funds will go to Clock Tower Repairs. According to Greenwood Parks Department Director, Richard McKinney, a multi-phase restoration and modification effort to the Bicentennial Clock Tower will cost between $50,000-$60,000, with plans in the works to replace the clock works and repair structural beams.
The concept for the virtual park website was originally proposed as a phone app, but turned out to be a better fit for a desktop website due to the scope and scale of the project. Families can submit complete bios and photographs for their honored Veterans. The park has stones with limited information a problem corrected with the new website because it gives more detail for each Veteran honored at the site. The park has a map on the site where you can click on the area of your stone and click on individuals to get desired information. First time visitors can easily search up a last name to find information.
Parks Director Richard McKinney and the Mayor’s Administrative Assistant, Brooke Holland are in the process of inputting all the information provided by the families and Veterans for the site. City Clerk Treasurer, Sharla Derry provided the beautiful photograph that graces the home page of the site.
The Veterans Memorial Park has approximately 750 stones as of now, but the city plans to add to it as the memorial grows. The cost of each stone remains $150 despite rising costs. Fundraisers, grants, and proceeds from individual stones help to offset the actual cost of construction. The A&P commission, oversees distribution of revenue from a 1 percent food service tax, this has provided help as well.
McKinney remarked about the new site. "The website is flexible and corrections and changes are easy. This allows for you to put assignments, medals, ranks, and countries, it’s an open field." The city is asking people with stones to email their information and a photos to "firstname.lastname@example.org".