Phase II of Allamakee County Freedom Rock project to continue this spring

Committee seeking public assistance with site development in time for Memorial Day

With the onset of spring, the Allamakee County Freedom Rock Committee is ready to embark on the continuation of Phase II of the Freedom Rock project for Allamakee County.

Last August, the Freedom Rock became a reality when it was Allamakee County’s turn to have Freedom Rock artist Bubba Sorensen design and paint the rock, which is located at the Waukon City Park. At that time, a fundraising campaign was begun to help offset the costs for the painting of the rock, paint and supplies.

Now the Committee is looking to develop and finish the Freedom Rock site to be ready for summer tourists and visitors this year. The Phase II workplan had originally included the building of a shelter to help protect the rock from weather elements, along with security and lighting, landscaping, cement work and signage.

Late last fall, the Committee was approached by Waukon native Greg Dougherty, who wished to honor his grandfather by building, installing and graciously donating a shelter over the Rock. This was completed before Christmas.

With the gift of the shelter, that part of Phase II is complete and the committee is now proceeding with security, cement work and lighting. It is hoped to have these next Phase II steps completed in time for Memorial Day this year, providing a better opportunity for all to view the Rock and celebrate its meaning in regard to those being honored during that annual remembrance.

Committee members were pleased to learn that they, in conjunction with the Driftless Area Scenic Byway, are the recipient of an Allamakee County Community Foundation Grant which will place a Byway Experience Hub Sign at the Freedom Rock site. This signage will be two-sided and will tell the Allamakee County Freedom Rock story on one side and have additional Byway tourist information on the other side, all in an effort to give local visitors a greater idea of what to see, explore and do while visiting Allamakee County.

A second sign will be designed and dedicated to those who have been major contributors to the project thus far. The Committee recognizes that this project would not and cannot be completed without that generous support of in-kind and monetary gifts.

The Committee points out that fundraising and donations are still needed and work at the site can only progress as funding is available to do so. The Committee would hope to have the security, lighting and cement work completed by Memorial Day as the rock is certain to have many visitors in conjunction with the Memorial Day Services at Oakland Cemetery just across the highway from the Rock, and given that Memorial Day is often viewed as a kick-off to the start of tourism season.

The Committee will also welcome donations towards flag poles and flags, as well as landscaping shrubbery and plants to fully complement and complete the visitor site. The Committee would like to place an American flag, an Iowa flag and a POW/MIA flag at the site, each on their own designated flag pole.

For more information about the Allamakee County Freedom Rock and the ongoing site improvement project, feel free to make contact with Ardie Kuhse at 563-568-2624 or 563-379-4849.