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La Crosse park department may set policy on how many memorials to put in parks

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Are there too many memorials being placed in La Crosse’s public parks?  The city park board could work out a policy for deciding what objects to display on public park land. 

La Crosse park director Jay Odegaard says sometimes the demand to have memorials outweighs the amount of space available for statues or other landmarks.

“We have only so much room in our park system,” says Odegaard. “While we do have a lot of parks, there’s a constant desire for people to put stuff into them.”

Odegaard says the discussion was prompted partly by a recent offer to put a sculpture of ducks in Riverside Park, as a memorial to former La Crosse city clerk Aubrey Kroner and her husband.  The park board said yes, but another city committee vetoed the idea.

“We’re looking at how we allow memorials, and how we continue to accept statue-type donations, while at the same time keeping our green space protected,” he said.

The city is in the process of building a veterans memorial on the south end of Riverside Park, and a Vietnam vets memorial will be dedicated next week at the Freedom Park on the Black River.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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