CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --- It's been 60 years since Sid Morris served in the military, but he still has skills as a recruiter.
Morris, a former City Council member, and city officials have rejuvenated interest in brick sales to support the maintenance and upkeep of Veterans Park, in time for its 15th anniversary.
Since December, Morris and city park officials have managed to line up 40 to 50 individuals to buy $50 engraved bricks commemorating military service.
That's a significant jump from recent years.
City Human and Leisure Services director Mark Ripplinger said annual brick sales had sagged from about 30 a year to less than 10, and just a couple one year ago.
Orders for the bricks will be accepted through May 15. Those bricks will be engraved and put in place at the park in time for the city's annual Sturgis Falls celebration in late June.
The balance of the brick sales over the cost of inscription "goes into a special fund to replace different things and plantings and trees and things like that," said Morris, a Korean War veteran. The park lost much of its greenery to this past year's drought.
"We're trying to make the park self-sufficient as much as we possibly can," Morris said. "Any expenditure, over labor, has to come from the brick sales."
The bricks at the park, at East 14th Street and Waterloo Road, will be placed on walkways emanating from a central plaza, the centerpiece of which is a replica Statue of Liberty.
Each brick is engraved with a veteran's name, branch of service and service dates. Morris and the city are especially appealing to younger veterans of more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Order forms are available at the Cedar Falls Recreation Center, 12th and Main streets, or at the Cedar Falls AMVETS post, East 20th and Irving streets.
The $50 for each brick is tax deductible. Checks should be made payable to the Cedar Falls Civic Foundation.