Project: Veteran’s Memorial Park for Ascension Parish
The Ascension Veterans Memorial Park is a unique concept in passive park design. GSA, Inc has designed and constructed a contemplative green space in the center of the City of Gonzales from ideas originally conceived by a coalition of Ascension Parish veterans. The park is owned by the Parish of Ascension and is under the direction of its Recreation Department, which oversees its maintenance and operation. Within this 1.5 acre site, visitors can remember, honor and celebrate the contributions of our American veterans from every branch of service - men and women who dutifully answered the call to serve their country during war and peace, in defense of freedom worldwide.
A majestic bronze sculpted eagle at its entrance plaza greets visitors to the park. An amphitheater is located in the rear of the park, which can be used for park and community events. The Freedom Fountain, which symbolizes the ultimate sacrifice made for liberty by our American veterans in every conflict since our nation's birth, sits in the park's interior. Eight informational kiosks are placed around the landscaped walkways that serve to familiarize visitors with US involvement in times of conflict. A future phase includes plans to link the kiosks technologically to the Ascension Parish library, which is adjacent to the park site, thus making the park an advanced educational resource.
The Ascension Veterans Memorial Park was dedicated on Memorial Day 1999. Future phases of the park include many additions and amenities, such as additional landscaping, decorative walls and paving, inspiring art panels and meditative lighting and benches for reflection and relaxation.
The park was initially funded with federal assistance from a VA-HUD Economic Development appropriation. Since that time, additional funding has been secured on both the local and state levels, through grants with the Governor's Office of Rural Development, the Ascension Parish Tourist Commission and private donations.