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Pictures: New Benches Installed At B.B. Clarke Beach On Madison Isthmus

April 15, 2009

After a many year process, and lots of community involvement,  five new benches and retaining walls are now all installed at B.B. Clarke Beach on the Isthmus in Madison.  (The final three were bolted to the cement early this morning.)  I think they look wonderful as they each have a unique theme.  Three of the benches are in memory of a loved one, and were donated to the city, while two others are still waiting to be ‘adopted’ from the city.  When those of us wishing to place a bench at the park for a loved one started this process we had no idea how long it would take.  But the end result was well worth the wait, along with the investment of our time for meetings and placing phone calls.  As for Henry Dudek who was honored with a bench, we are sure he would be proud of the end result.  He very well might be there in spirit relaxing as I write.


The wood is from Orton Park oaks, and the metal was designed and sculpted by Erika Koivunenwho is a true artist and wonderful friend.  Her mentor for this type of work is Dr. Evermore who also designed, and crafted the large “Dream Keepers” on  Paterson Street.


The artist Erika and James struggle to keep warm on the first day of installation several weeks ago.

Since two of the benches were installed a few weeks ago I have had the opportunity to talk with strangers about the new additions, and get feedback.  The comfort level is high on everyone’s list of comments, as are the designs with the original art work which makes these so very special.  A school group of young kids “test drove” the benches and think they are fun to sit on, and look at.  They know they are not your average run-of-the-mill benches.


All the benches will have a ‘love butter’ applied to the metal parts in a year so to stop the rusting process. 


Everyone who took the time to be involved with the benches can be proud for the wonderful addition to the neighborhood, and the City of Madison.  They will provide many years of memories as people sit and look out over the water while watching the wildlife frolic about the trees and waves.


So bring yourself, your partner, kids, and some time to reflect while sitting on the new benches at B.B. Clarke Beach.



  1. Ms. Stephanie Elvis permalink
    April 16, 2009 5:31 PM

    Dearest Deke Rivers,

    Thank you for the beautiful bench on the shores of Monona Lake. Thank you, James … and thank you, Henry, for living on in spirit.

    Love your site. Love your photo of days gone by. And love your words.

    In gratitude,

    Elvis’ former wife … tucked in the hills of Northern Idaho.

  2. Jenny permalink
    April 16, 2009 8:36 AM

    I am sure Henry would approve. These benches are beautiful. I hope my kids will get to enjoy them for years to come whenever we visit the area!

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