E. Hope revitalization plan includes veterans’ honor wall

by KATHY HUBBARD Contributing Writer
| September 16, 2020 1:00 AM

EAST HOPE — “It all started with the flagpole,” East Hope Mayor, Vern Fleisher said of the plan to revitalize the area adjacent to the railroad tracks across from the post office, Davis Grocery and the old school. “And, then it evolved.”

Fleisher was working with council members Deborah Field, Tom Grimm and Don Wells along with public works manager Marty Lowell to prepare part of the land for planting grass.

Fleisher said that they had received a donation to cover the cost of putting up a flag that could be seen from the highway. Officials then talked about how they could convey a welcome to visitors. And, the overwhelming opinion was for something that would honor service men and women, and so the Veterans Honor Wall was conceived. Consensus was that a park should be the centerpiece between the wall and the existing monuments to David Thompson and Finan McDonald.

“We’re doing all the work ourselves,” Council member Deborah Field said. “Right now we’re leveling around the pavers so we can put in the grass. We’re getting help from everyone.” Everyone includes many professionals who have either donated their time, discounted materials or both.

Local landscape designer Cindy Gauthier provided the city with plans that include the wall and the park. Tony Ard has made a large, beautiful picnic table out of cedar logs felled on his property. And, Chris Scarlett of Aspen Ridge installed the pavers.

“The monuments are being refurbished,” Fleisher said. “And then new decorative plants will be added. Someone told me that it was good to see someone cleaning up a monument and not tearing it down.”

Veterans who served honorably and now live between the Pack River and Montana border qualify to have their names inscribed on a plaque that will be installed on the Veterans Honor Wall.

“The city is asking for the cost of the plaque. We’re not making any profit,” Field said. The cost for the stainless steel 4 inch by 8 inch plaque is $125. Families and individuals who are not veterans but would like to be acknowledged as a donor can purchase an inscribed paver for $100.

“We’re operating on a shoe string,” Fleisher said. “We’re getting people to volunteer their time. But, the timeline of the project depends on when we can raise the money.”

To that end, the city is looking for donations that will include not only the wall and pavers but also the playground equipment that comes with a hefty price tag of $10,000. The city has already secured a little more than half of the needed funds and is optimistic that they’ll raise the rest.

An opening reception for the wall is planned for later this fall. If you would like more information go to the city’s website at www.cityofeasthope.com. There you will also find the forms for purchasing pavers and plaques. The city’s phone number is 208-264-5877 and is located at 110 School Road in East Hope.

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(Photo by KATHY HUBBARD)

East Hope city officials prepare to plant grass at the new Veterans’ Memorial Wall. Pictured from left: Council members Deborah Field, Tom Grimm, Mayor Vern Fleisher, council member Don Wells and public works manager Marty Lowell operating the bobcat.

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(Photo by KATHY HUBBARD)

East Hope council member Deborah Field describes the details of the revitalization plan for the land adjacent to the railroad tracks.