APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Friday afternoon, crews and officials broke ground on the first construction phase of what will be known as Lundgaard Park.

The park is built to remember and honor fallen firefighter Mitch Lundgaard, who was killed in the line of duty during an emergency medical call in 2019. Since then, the city of Appleton and local organizations have found ways to keep Lundgaard’s memory alive.

“We break this ground with love and respect for Mitch and reverence for what he did for our community, we also do so in celebration of who he was,” said Appleton Mayor Jake Woodford. “May this park bring joy, vibrance, and peace to the people of Appleton for generations to come.”

The park will be located next to Appleton Fire Station Six, which was Lundgaard’s station and will have many features throughout it. Firefighter Chief Jeremy Hansen talks about what you can expect once the park is complete.

“Today’s groundbreaking is the next step, where we take a beautifully designed park with large green spaces, a future pavilion, shade-covered playgrounds, sports courts, walking trails, and water features, and we build a destination for the community and a memorial to honor a local hero,” said Fire Chief Hansen.

Lindsey Lundgaard also said a few words at the groundbreaking ceremony to highlight Lundgaard’s love of his family and dedication to his community. Lundgaard thanks the community for all they have put into this project.

“Mitch was an amazing father, and one thing he loved to do with the boys on his days off was take them to various parks around the area to play and explore so having a park planned in his honor is truly special,” said Lundgaard. “And we appreciate that this park honors all fallen firefighters in Appleton and is a place where the community can not only remember Mitch’s sacrifices but constantly remind us of how hard the City of Appleton firefighters work every day to serve our community.”

The park has been a community effort with the help of the City of Appleton, friends of the Appleton Fire Department, ISG Architecture, Engineering, and Environmental Planning, and Vinton Construction Company.