News

Washington County Freedom Rock Park underway

GTNS photo by Gretchen Teske

Construction is underway for the Washington County Freedrom Rock Park in Brighton.
GTNS photo by Gretchen Teske Construction is underway for the Washington County Freedrom Rock Park in Brighton.
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BRIGHTON — Residents and visitors of Brighton will soon have a new park to enjoy as the Washington County Freedom Rock Committee is working to create a park out of the space around the rock.

“The idea for the park came last year when the (Washington County) Freedom Rock earned its location and spot. We just wanted to have a well-rounded space for it,” said Washington County Freedom Rock Committee member Amy Green.

Construction on the new park began last week as crews worked to dig up the existing concrete and level the ground before the impending rain. The plan is to have the park complete for a rededication of the rock and dedication of the park ceremony on the first day of Whoopee Days, June 18, weather permitting.

The rock was painted last summer by Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II, who travels the state painting one rock per county to promote patriotism and Iowa tourism. The park will have a walking path, green space and a kiosk that explains the history of the Freedom Rock project and a bit of the history of Washington County. The public also will have the opportunity to leave their mark on the space by purchasing specially engraved pavers.

The pavers can contain any message or name of a person and will be dedicated on June 18 as well. Green said purchasing pavers is a special way for anyone in Washington County to be part of the project in their own way.

“All communities change so quickly and people come and go, sometimes very quickly, so it’s just a neat way to be able to always be there,” she said. “Whether you drive through town once a year or five times a day, it’s kind of a unique opportunity to be a part of that space.”

Nancy Adrian, co-chair of the Washington County Freedom Rock Committee, said she is excited to see the plans for the park taking off and sees this as a great way for the county to leave their mark on the project.

“I’m very proud that we have it. I think it’s in a very prime location,” she said. “We’re on the way to a lot of places so it will get high visibility. Brighton is one of the oldest communities in the county and I think that it’s nice that we have something there for everybody to be proud of.”

Pavers are available in two sizes. Anyone wishing to purchase one may pick up an order form at the Washington Chamber of Commerce, the Washington County Extension Office or Brighton City Hall.

Anyone with questions may contact Cathy Rich, co-chair of the Washington County Freedom Rock committee at: 319-694-5220 or Nancy Adrian at: nancyadrian@gmail.com. More information can be found on their Facebook page at: Washington County Iowa Freedom Rock.