Memorial Park makes Explore Minnesota’s ‘bucket list’

MARSHALL – It’s been more than a year since it opened, but the 9/11 memorial in Marshall’s downtown area still draws attention from visitors. And now it looks as though the park may catch more eyes, as part of statewide promotional materials.

Memorial Park in Marshall has been featured in Explore Minnesota’s 2013 group travel guide. In a list of “10 Places that Belong on Bucket Lists,” the park joins southern Minnesota landmarks like the Pipestone National Monument and the SPAM Museum in Austin. The article, and the travel guide in which it appears, are geared toward travel groups and packaged trip planners. The travel guide is updated every year.

“It’s kinda neat,” Marshall Community Services Director Harry Weilage said of Memorial Park being considered a ‘bucket list’ worthy place to visit. “It’s a nice recognition of not only Memorial Park, but the work put into downtown.” Part of the park’s purpose, he said, was to provide a place to people to gather downtown.

The travel guide including Memorial Park can be viewed online at www.exploreminnesota.com. The Marshall city website, marshallmn.com, also has a link to the travel guide.

Weilage said the increased media attention Marshall received when Memorial Park was built may have led to its inclusion in the list of southern Minnesota destinations.

“We knew it was going to generate a lot of interest,” he said. And with coverage from the Minneapolis Star Tribune and other media, it was a level of interest that the Marshall area doesn’t typically receive. “I think the last time Marshall was involved in something like this was in the 1960s, when WCCO would come for the pheasant opener.”

Being included in a Minnesota tourism guide could also be a positive thing for letting a wider range of people know about Marshall, Weilage said. However, when the weather is good, the 9/11 memorial seems to draw visitors all on its own.

“It seems like there’s almost always someone there, and it always looks to me like somebody’s taking a picture,” Weilage said.