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Final Proposed Mission Creek Cemetery Design Concept Unveiled

Ryan Juntti
Updated: February 20, 2020 02:06 PM

On Wednesday night, the final proposed design concept for the Mission Creek Cemetery was unveiled. 

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Minneapolis-based landscape design company Urban Ecosystems designed the concept based on feedback gathered from three previous concepts that were put before the public last month. 

Some of the features it includes are a sacred space, place of welcome, boundary wall, forest restoration, place of ceremony with mixed forest species, Anishinaabe imagery, and water space.

"There was a strong preference for a more natural, private site that prioritized protecting the ancestors that are buried at the site, so that was really kind of I think the main guiding advice that we got that we tried to put front and center in the focus of the design," said Urban Ecosystems President Sam Geer. 

Geer says there were multiple central themes they identified for the final recommended concept based on the feedback gathered last month from the community.

Those include:

  • Prioritize long term protection of the ancestors against cultural and natural forces
  • Diverse native and culturally meaningful plantings - Cedar, Birch, & White Pine
  • Do not make the site a visible public destination / tourist spot
  • Allow nature to heal the site - local stone, aggregate, and soils are appropriate
  • Protect the spring flow and direct it to Mission Creek
  • Minimal trails and public spaces - make the space feel private
  • Boundary wall creates defensible space
  • Level of maintenance and upkeep a key concern

Fond du Lac Band member Robert Kesner says it's important to protect the area where ancestors are buried. 

"The way it sits, and if that's the wall you wanna have, that's not going to keep people out of there," said Kesner.

Fond du Lac Band member, and Public Maintenance Coordinator Lynn Olson says she supports the concept as she likes how people are able to visit and pay respects.

"I always pay respects to them, and I just don't want these people to be forgotten like they've already been," said Olson.

The concept will be given to the Fond du Lac Reservation Business Committee. It will then be determined whether to approve it as is or make any changes.

The cost of the concept has not yet been determined.

The final design plans need to be made by May 6. Project officials say the hope is to have the cemetery completed by the end of this fall.

MnDOT says the estimated completion date for the Highway 23 Bridge Replacement project is 2024.

Credits

Ryan Juntti

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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