Monday, April 12, 2021

Freedom Fountain’s Latest Improvements

Submitted Photo: The Freedom Fountain, centerpiece of the veterans memorial in Marco Island’s Veterans Community Park.

Submitted Photo: The Freedom Fountain, centerpiece of the veterans memorial in Marco Island’s Veterans Community Park.

Submitted

The Freedom Fountain in Veterans Community Park has received a facelift that further enhances and preserves its beauty.

Commemorative inscriptions on the black granite panels gracing the crown jewel of Marco Island’s veterans’ memorial recently received a coat of gold sealant, adding luster to its personalized messages honoring America’s military service men and women. At the same time, the bronze, 9-foot tall, in-flight American eagle that crowns the 10-foot-tall fountain was cleaned and treated with clear-coat sealant.

The work was performed by Chris Holloway, owner of Marco Island Painting, and his staff.

Lee Rubenstein, chairman of the all-volunteer Veterans Memorial Fundraising Committee, said the project was necessary to eliminate discoloration caused by the fountain’s water. The water composition issues that led to the discoloration have been corrected, he added.

Freedom Fountain was enhanced in January, when a wind detector was installed to reduce the water flow when the wind exceeds 8 mph, eliminating water being sprayed beyond the fountain. The walkway leading to the fountain was also accented on either side by rows of variegated arboricola, a drought-resistant, easily maintained, tropical evergreen shrub with bright yellow and green leaves.

The plants, 90 in all, were installed by Affordable Landscaping, of Marco Island, which donated its labor for the $2,000 project, which also included installation of 12 sprinklers, which use reclaimed water to irrigate the plants.

Plans call for the addition of walkway lighting as the next enhancement and discussions will begin soon regarding erecting a covering over the memorial.

Funding for the memorial was provided by the Veterans Memorial Fundraising Committee, which has raised about $650,000 in donations over the last seven years to create the park’s Veterans Memorial, with its flag plaza, landscaping and of course, its crown jewel, the Freedom Fountain.

Lastly, only eight lines remain on the Freedom Fountain for inscription. Forms to purchase inscription lines can be found at the memorial’s entry.

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