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Caretakers unite, clear path for park

A big, cooperative crew of Masons and Lions joined forces to improve Halverson Park. Kneeling left to right: Fletcher Baker, Rose Rude and Judy Rommel. Standing left to right: Steve Schwartz, Stewart Lentz, David Gregg, Mike Elliott, Dennis Zielski, Dan Murray, Warren Kozitza, Rod Rommel, Paul Kliszcz and Bob Fischer. Helpers not pictured: Elaine Baker, Mike Miller, Ed Thornton and Blair Conklin plus his two children. Submitted photo

A new five-foot-wide, quarter-mile-long trail in Halverson Park, 9342 830th Ave. winds for about a quarter mile through woods where mature oaks stand and a meandering creek flows to the South Fork of the Kinnickinnic River.

Halverson Park's only amenity until last week, besides its natural open spaces, was signage sitting in front of it indicating its name.

The park sits east of the intersection where Hwy. 65 and Cemetery Road meet.

Volunteers who built the trail -- several town of River Falls residents, as well as members from the local Masonic Lodge and Lions Club -- think the park's first-ever amenity is just how the late A.J. Halverson would have wanted it.

Halverson gave to the town the five acres on which the park sits.

"It was donated with the stipulation that it stay natural forever," said Dennis Zielksi, park board chair for town of River Falls.

Zielski and Lions Club member Fletcher Baker said a group of about 25 volunteers finished the project last week by laying wood chips on the trail.

Read more and see photos in the Aug. 20 print edition of the River Falls Journal