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Plans for Harfst Memorial move forward

February 23, 2022

The site for a new sculpture honoring the late Kent Harfst was approved Monday night by the Webster City City Council.

Janet Adams and Mark Dohms, representatives of Arts R Alive, gave an update on the project proposed for the hillside at Brewer Creek Park.

“The location is on the east side of what we call Hospital Hill,” Adams said. “We’ve had that location marked off for quite a while with white flags so people could see that.”

Adams said that Harfst, the longtime director of recreation and public grounds for Webster City, was very supportive of the parks and of Arts R Alive’s efforts.

“He was always encouraging Arts R Alive to do more with sculptures — put more downtown, add this or add that,” she said. “We hope he’s smiling down on us because we’re working that quite diligently.”

Harfst died in a cycling accident in September 2019. Following his death, Adams said the organization decided to develop a remembrance of him to be placed in one of the area parks. The group has been planning and fundraising for the sculpture that Webster City artist Tim Adams will create.

“We’re now in the final information stages of the project,” Adams said. Arts R Alive board members Deb Jaycox and Dohms have taken on the sculpture proposal which they have been working on for more than a year.

“A proposal has been designed and it’s ready to be constructed,” she said. Larry Flaws of the city recreation department has worked with the organization to select and layout the location for the sculpture. Adams said placing the artwork in the park overlooking one of the city’s trails would reflect Harfst’s love of the outdoors and his interest in the city’s parks.

Adams said Arts R Alive has reached out to the Harfst family for input as well as many community members, city officials and parks and rec staff.

Dohms said the sculpture will be constructed of steel and is expected to have a 50 to 75 year lifespan. He added that the piece was expected to be between 10 and 12-feet tall.

City Manager Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez encouraged the organization to reach out to the utility department to be sure the piece would not interfere with electric lines and poles in the area. He also reminded the committee that the area has lost some trees in recent wind storms.

The council approved the request to place the sculpture in the Brewer Creek Park area.

Dohms said Arts R Alive hopes to see the base installed in the spring. The goal is to have the sculpture finished this year with an event planned for fall to celebrate its completion, he said.


View this article as it originally appeared in the Daily Freeman-Journal.

Last modified: February 23, 2022

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