Larry Schlue Memorial Sound Park

People of all ages play in the Larry Schlue Memorial Sound Park.

AMANA – Belle Plaine Community Development Group, along with Benton Development Group and Iowa Valley RC&D, will be celebrating the dedication of Larry Schlue Memorial Sound Park at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, with music, refreshments, and a presentation.

Designed by Los Angeles-based artist and Belle Plaine native John Schlue, the Larry Schlue Memorial Sound Park, in downtown Belle Plaine, is one of 16 new installations along Iowa’s Scenic Byways as part of a four-year public art initiative. Belle Plaine’s theme for the space is transportation—more than 70 trains travel through the downtown each day!

“Sound and art are things that bring us together. As a child, the sound of trains had an impact on me. I was inspired to design a park that honors Belle Plaine’s history at the same time that it invites people of all ages to interact with art,” says artist John Schlue.

Project supporters include National Endowment for the Arts, Byways of Iowa Foundation, Northeast Iowa RC&D, Casey’s General Store, MidWestOne Foundation, Benton Co. Community Foundation, Larry D. Schlue Trust, Iowa Arts Council/Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, Iowa DOT, Iowa Valley Scenic Byway Board, Cronbaugh Excavating Inc., Specialized Concrete, Precision Sheet Metal, Coover Construction, Manatt’s, Inc., Hamilton Construction, National Playground Compliance Group, and a local art committee.

Iowa Valley Resource Conservation & Development (Iowa Valley RC&D) is a nonprofit based in Amana, Iowa that works to grow local economies, strengthen food systems, foster protection and enhancement of natural resources, and develop awareness for the arts, history, and culture. They facilitate partner collaboration, solve problems at a system level, and leverage resources to get more done.