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Eldorado bike path is Avenue of Honor, a memorial to veterans

updated: 11/9/2017 2:11 PM

As a memorial to all veterans, Eldorado Garden Study Club established an Avenue of Honor in 2007 on a section of the bike path in Eldorado.

At one time, the bike path was a byway for the L & N (Louisville and Nashville) railroad.

The garden club applied for a grant in 2005 from the National Garden Clubs, Inc. in conjunction with Garden Clubs of Illinois and Principal Financial Group and was awarded the highest grant in the state of Illinois for $2,000.

At that time, the Rails to Trails project of connecting the bike path from the Eldorado Sports Complex to Small Street in Harrisburg was just a vision. The Avenue of Honor was dedicated in 2007 with a ceremony led by Dr. Mary Jo Oldham Morgan, who was garden club president at the time.

This year, Rails to Trails magazine has featured Eldorado's Avenue of Honor in its fall online magazine as one of three memorials to veterans on bike paths in Illinois. Eldorado Avenue of Honor is a garden of trees -- Kousa Dogwoods, Yoshino Cherries and Red Sunset Maples -- planted in groups of threes to commemorate each war fought by American soldiers and volunteers.

Each tree has an engraved native stone marker that honors a specific war. This area of the bike path is designed as a place where one may walk, think and pray while observing the memorials.

The garden club updated the entrance to the garden this year with new plantings of roses and restored the engraved markers at each tree. The city of Eldorado and the garden club oversee these gardens.