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Fundraising is underway for two new sculptures at the Decorah Fish Hatchery

Posted: Tue, Jul 14, 2020 11:51 AM
Artist Doug Freeman poses with a foam model of one of the sculptures.

The Friends of Decorah Fish Hatchery Board has started a fundraising campaign to help pay for the artwork and installation of two new large-scale sculptures. "Decorah's Song" and "Dream Travelers," both designed and constructed by Luther graduate Doug Freeman, will be installed on hatchery property. With this project, FDFH hopes to add yet another dimension to the visitor experience at the hatchery.

Friends of Decorah Fish Hatchery board members began talking to Freeman in 2013 about designing and creating sculptures for the hatchery. As a result, Freeman spent many hours over the next several years visiting the hatchery learning about its unique ecosystem, setting and history. In late 2019, the FDFH Board voted to commission Freeman to make two large sculptures to be placed as public art at the hatchery. In early 2020, life-sized models were created and the bronze sculptures are currently being cast, assembled and prepared for installation.

All project funds up until this point have been obtained by the FDFH through the use of the fish food machines used by visitors (25 per handful), and a donation by one of the Board members. No state money has been or will be used. As the project nears completion, the FDFH Board would like to invite others to contribute to bring the project to completion.

The FDFH Board has set a fundraising goal of $85,000. Donations are welcome in any amount and are tax deductible. Checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 46, Decorah, IA 52101. Contributions can also be made via the Friends of the Fish Hatchery Facebook page or via PayPal through the website.

A foam model being prepared for bronze casting.
(Photo courtesy of Trout Run Trail users may already be familiar with Freeman's work - "Walking with Birds" - which is located along the trail on Dug Road.