Foundation raising money to renovate Veterans Park in Punta Gorda

With the Vietnam Memorial wall as the backdrop, Veterans Park in Punta Gorda aims to honor our nation’s heroes.

“I think this whole city is proud of this area and proud of what we do for veterans,” said Punta Gorda resident Debbie Jones.

President of the Vietnam Memorial Wall of SWFL, General Richard Carr, is leading the efforts to renovate the park.

“It’s unfortunate that over time many well-meaning projects kind of age and we end up with¬†bricks that people bought and now they’re mildewed, they’re kind of askew. The bronze plaques are weathered from many years,” Carr said.

Work is now underway on a brand new donor plaza, part of Phase II of the redesign which will eventually include a new separate Purple Heart memorial, mural wall plaza and an amphitheater in front of the gazebo.

“The wall of course is the highlight, but we wish to bring the rest of it up really to first class grade,” Carr said.

Locals and visitors alike say the rest of the park is in much need of some TLC. A portion of Laishley Park was renamed Veterans Park six months ago to honor the American heroes.

“It definitely needs some upkeep. Some of the bricks probably could be cleaned up and just make it look a lot nicer than it does right now so it matches what they did with the Vietnam Wall,” said Punta Gorda resident Allan Weber.

But the upgrades won’t come without a high price tag. The foundation is trying to fund raise the $450,000 it will take to complete the second phase.

“It’s just right that we honor these veterans and I just feel it’s a very strong feeling throughout the community,” Jones said.