12 years in the making: Parking lot to be dedicated to fallen soldier


It's been more than a decade in the making – and on Sunday a parking lot near New London will be dedicated to a fallen soldier.

The idea began in 2003, when Ryane Clark was 15 years old and was looking for an Eagle Scout project that would help the community. That's when he remembered his friend, Cody Berg, who was fatally hit by a car while riding his bike in 187th Avenue near New London back in 1999, New London's website says.

Clark wanted to make the area – located near the Glacial Lakes State Trail – safer by adding a parking lot for people who planned to use the trail.

But his idea was met with a lot of red tape, including clashes with the Department of Natural Resources and other agencies, the Star Tribune says, so he moved on and decided to work with the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center on a project instead, New London's website notes.

Clark never forgot about that parking lot.

Then, in 2010, when Clark was 22 years old, he deployed in Afghanistan and was killed, the West-Central Tribune reported.

Since then, his parents – Tracy and Rick Clark – have been battling to turn their son's dream into a reality, reports note.

Finally, in 2014, with the help of former State Rep. Mary Sawatzky, the Clarks started to see progress with the parking lot, and back in July, officials broke ground on the lot, New London's website says.

Last month, volunteers added flag poles and a memorial bench to the site, KSTP reported. The family plans to add a memorial stone next year.

The parking lot has been open, but it will officially be dedicated as SPC Ryane Glenn Clark Memorial Park on Sunday at 2 p.m., New London's website says.

“I think he’s just like ‘yes,’ finally. Knowing him, he’s smiling from ear to ear, sitting right with Cody and smiling,” Tracy Clark told WCCO.

Next Up

Jorge Polanco

Shoemaker, Twins lineup rebounds against Tigers

Jorge Polanco homered in a 7-3 victory over Detroit.

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Watch: Kaprizov's OT winner lifts Wild into 2nd place in West

Kaprizov's goal gave the Wild a 3-2 victory over the Ducks.

Byron Buxton

Buxton placed on IL, Trevor Larnach called up

Buxton could be out "for weeks" with a hip strain.

A bald eagle perched on branches.

USFWS confirms 2 bald eagles were shot dead

The agency is offering a reward for information in the case.

A newborn baby, wrapped in a blanket with its mother.

Most popular baby names includes one not in top 10 for 100 years

But Olivia and Liam once again led the way for girls and boys.

Minnesota Lottery

Names of big Minnesota Lottery winners to be kept private thanks to new law

The Minnesota Legislature passed the bill unanimously and Gov. Tim Walz signed it into law this week.

FLickr - COVID-19 vaccination - Commander, U.S. Naval Forces

All 8 state COVID-19 vaccine sites now accept walk-ins

Adults can get a no-cost vaccine without making an appointment.


Report: Vikings owners nearing purchase of Orlando City MLS franchise

The Wilfs reportedly attempted to buy the Minnesota United expansion franchise years ago.

bemidji paul bunyan

Video shows the moment someone broke the Paul Bunyan statue's arm

Police are asking for the public's help to identify those involved.

bridgeman's food truck duluth

Last remaining Bridgeman's Restaurant is launching a food truck

The Duluth restaurant is the only remaining full-service Bridgeman's in business.

FLickr - electric drive vehicle charging - Open Grid Scheduler

Minnesota can move ahead with Clean Cars program, judge says

She recommended the proposed rules be adopted.


Fallen soldier's 8-year-old battling cancer

Hannah Anderson's husband was killed in Iraq in 2008, and now the family has been dealt another blow. Her 8-year-old daughter Savannah was scheduled for surgery Friday as the child battles brain cancer. "I want to take all her pain away, and I wish that it's me going through this," Hannah Anderson tells FOX 9 News.

Minn. soldier's Civil War grave to be re-dedicated

The grave of a St. Paul solider who died in the Battle of Antietam during the Civil War will be re-dedicated Saturday at at Calvary Cemetery in St. Paul. Pvt. Edmund Sampare of St. Paul died during the battle on Sept. 17, 1862. The re-dedication of the grave will mark the last Civil War remembrance event in Minnesota this year to mark the 150th anniversary of the war.

Apartments planned for Star Tribune parking lot

Solhem Cos. and TE Miller Development Inc. are proposing to develop a new six-story apartment building with 138 units in the North Loop district of downtown Minneapolis, the Business Journal reports. The parking lot is owned by the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune newspaper.