Blue Star Memorial in Veterans Park removed for construction

Sara Wolf
Special to the Eagle
Linda Colombo and Margie Bramel work to remove the Blue Star Memorial.

Due to construction of the band shell and restroom building in Veterans Park, Calusa Garden Club’s Blue Star Memorial had to be removed.

The City of Marco Island was concerned that damage might occur to the Memorial, so Tim Pinter of the city staff contacted Linda Colombo, Calusa Garden Club’s chairperson of the Memorial Marker committee, to let her know the Memorial had to be temporarily removed. 

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Colombo, who is also a past president of Calusa Garden Club, remarked that she appreciated the city’s efforts in notifying her of the removal of the Blue Star Memorial so that it could be protected.  She said, “We look forward to replacing the Blue Star Memorial in Veterans Park where it belongs, and we have worked with the city to locate an appropriate location for it after the construction of the Veterans Park improvements is complete.”

Calusa Garden Club had purchased the Blue Star Memorial in 2013 and donated it to the City of Marco Island, where it was appropriately installed in Veterans Park. The Blue Star Memorial honors our United States service men and women who gave their lives fighting for our freedom.

Calusa Garden Club purchased the memorial through a program established by its umbrella organization National Garden Clubs, Inc. The program enlists local garden clubs to purchase, install and maintain Blue Star Memorials in parks and other public spaces around the United States. The Garden Club planted and maintains a beautiful garden around the Blue Star Memorial.

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Colombo contacted Calusa Garden Club President Susan Neustadt and Memorial Markers committee member Margie Bramel, and the three women acted quickly. They met at Veterans Park and worked to remove the plants from the garden surrounding the Blue Star Memorial so that the plants could be saved from destruction.  They plan to use the plants as part of the gardens around other markers maintained by Calusa Garden Club. Those other markers include a plaque at Leigh Plummer Park commemorating the efforts of the Club in planting native trees in Leigh Plummer Park, the Pineapple Marker on Barfield Drive across from the Methodist Church that commemorates the pineapple plantation that once occupied that area, and the plaque at Calusa Park on Winterberry Drive and Sand Hill Street that recognizes the Garden Club’s contribution to the establishment of Calusa Park.

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Colombo, Neustadt and Bramel are pictured on a windy day last week as they worked to remove plants from the Blue Star Memorial garden before the Blue Star Memorial was removed from its location by the City and placed in storage. 

One of the photos shows the Blue Star Memorial and its garden as the area looked before the plants were removed.  Other photos show Colombo, Bramel and Neustadt working to save some of the plants from the Blue Star Memorial garden so they could be transplanted to other gardens.

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island is a member of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs.  Membership is open to persons interested in horticulture, floral design and environmental matters residing 5 months or more in Collier County. 

Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island meets the second Monday of each month, October through April.  If you are interested in membership, please contact the Garden Club at  For updates and information, please visit the Garden Club’s website,, or visit the Club’s Facebook page Calusa Garden Club.