Riverton’s Veterans Park hopes to receive UH-1 Helicopter static display

Veterans Memorial Park in Riverton has received a series of upgrades recently, and some additional major ones may be coming soon.

The City of Riverton is set to make a proposal to the Army Donations Program, for a UH-1 Helicopter static display.  An example of what the display could look like is below:

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Riverton Community Development Director Eric Carr discussed the proposal, “Veterans Hall has made and continues to make substantial improvements to the park, the installation of the helicopter would fit into the character of the improvements which have been made.”

Carr noted that Wyoming State Senator Eli Bebout recently announced his “full support” behind the project and has “vowed to help in any way he can.”

The proposed helicopter display measures 58 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, 15 feet in height. “It will fit in the park,” Carr said, “I had some concerns initially about that.”

The UH-1 Helicopter was a military helicopter introduced to United States service in 1959. It was produced until 1987. The model was used primarily overseas in the Vietnam War, with about 7,000 of them deployed.

Riverton Veterans Hall Chairman Jim Arndt said the hope is to place the display near a tree in the park, which would help turn the park features into a circular design. “It would be a really nice asset,” he said. Arndt also noted the group is exploring liability insurance and vandalism insurance. He said the helicopter will be secured, doors sealed shut, and rotor would be stationary.

Mayor Lars Baker announced his support behind the project as well and commended the work being done at the park, “I think it’s a marvelous change that’s taking place in the park, and we’re really grateful for the efforts the Veteran’s folks have made to turn it into something really nice.”

The Riverton City Council and Mayor approved the proposal request unanimously Tuesday night. Eric Carr reminded the council that the proposal is not a guarantee that Riverton will get a helicopter. He said if there was not one available from the Army Donations Program in the next three years, they’d have to re-submit the proposal.

Additional improvements are set for 2019 at Veterans Memorial Park. There will be an additional monument placed in the park paid for the American Legion, it was not immediately clear what kind of a memorial they had planned. The Veterans Hall had also been looking into hiring an artist to paint a mural on the backside of the old Safeway building. Arndt said that financially that wasn’t in the future right now, but that they’re looking at having two smaller murals painted and placed inside of the park instead.

The park is located adjacent to the Rails to Trails walkway, northwest of the Pershing and Federal intersection. Or, behind Riverton City Hall and the old Safeway building.

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