GROVELAND — Livingston County’s Hampton Corners complex in Groveland will soon be home to an open-air monument honoring local military veterans.

Development of the monument site – located on county-owned land near the intersection of Gypsy Lane and Groveland Station Road – is being undertaken by the Livingston County Highway Department. The monument is slated for completion by this November.

Jason Skinner, Director of Veteran Services for Livingston County and an Army veteran, said, “It has been so exciting to watch the progression of the monument site. I commend the Highway Department for its dedication to this project and its determination to finish it in time to coincide with Veteran’s Day on November 11th.”

The Highway Department has been intermittently – between rain drops and infrastructure projects – advancing site preparation for the monument since the beginning of the year. To date, the site has been cleared and graded with over 5,000 tons of gravel and crusher run material spread and compacted as a foundation for the monument. Extensive drainage systems have been installed to ensure the integrity of the site over time. A 6-inch-thick concrete pad will serve as the 125.5 ft. x 65 ft. flag-shaped monument. Installation of the monument itself, as well as any hard and soft landscaping, will also be handled by the Highway Department. In order to provide visitors with convenient access to the monument, an adjacent parking lot has been constructed to accommodate vehicular traffic.

The monument, once installed, will display hundreds of swiveling, metal poppies to emulate a waving American flag. The bright red poppies, ranging in height from 1 ft. to 3 ft., have been individually handcrafted by veterans – as well as friends and families of veterans – with help from Olie Olsen, the Metal Trades instructor at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership in Mount Morris. In addition to the poppy display, the monument will feature multiple flag poles representing military service branches.

“This county project has been wildly popular with our veteran community. It has brought many veterans together and has strengthened their bonds in an already resilient community,” said Skinner, who originally pitched the project to the Livingston County Board of Supervisors last November. “In fact, the footprint for the monument had to be expanded as veteran participation continued to grow. Our initial goal was to fill the monument with 100 poppies, and now we have close to 250.”

Livingston County’s Highway Superintendent Don Higgins, who is a Marine veteran and a leader of the Patriot Guard Riders, is proud to be a part of the monument’s development.

“This monument has been garnering attention from across the state because of its uniqueness, symbolism, partnerships and public involvement,” he said. 

Higgins attributes the success of this project to extensive collaboration among Livingston County’s leadership, the Highway Department, Veteran Services, Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, the veteran community, and all those who have donated time and materials.

“I would especially like to thank County Administrator Ian Coyle and the Board of Supervisors for believing in this project from the very beginning,” Higgins said. “Their unwavering support signifies a genuine appreciation for all Livingston County veterans who have served our country.”

For additional information on the development of the Veterans Monument, contact the Livingston County Veteran Services office at 585-243-7960.