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Akeley memorial gardens project nearing completion

The structure reflects the village's rich logging history. Flag poles will be added as will gardens when spring arrives. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)1 / 3
The Akeley site in the 1950s was a bustling gas station and repair shop. (Submitted photo)2 / 3
The site was a gas station in the 1920s also, a creamery located just to the north of the building. (Submitted photo)3 / 3

A project that's been in the talking stages for more than a decade is now coming to fruition in Akeley.

An imposing log structure, signifying the village's genesis, will serve as memorial gardens and a welcome center at the intersection of Highways 34 and 64.

Contractor Bruce Beckley has been at work the past few weeks, donating labor, with stonework and log staining to be completed, come spring.

Three flags will also fly at the site.

The project evolved during Horizons meetings, Randall Morrison of First National Bank explained of the group working for "change and beautification" in the city that has struggled in recent years.

The structure sits where a gas station was located, Paul Bunyan artwork on its exterior.

The Akeley community development group obtained a $10,000 University of Minnesota Horizons grant with Northwest Minnesota Foundation the fiscal agent. Personal and group contributions augment this and other "facelift" projects for the city.

The Eastern Hubbard County Fire Department, a non-profit organization that has also contributed to the project, will serve as the local fiscal agent.

A community fund has been established through the NMF that processes tax deductible contributions for further projects.

Beckley hopes to find a volunteer to assist with the stone masonry this spring. He may be reached at 252-2794.

For more information on projects and donations and developing partnerships, contact Morrison at 547-5404.