On August 21, Vesterheim celebrated the completion of Heritage Park, an exciting new space on the Vesterheim campus! It was a wonderful afternoon and we were so happy to welcome friends from near and far. Many thanks for the kind words from our special guest Mr. Torleiv Opland, Deputy Chief of Mission from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Thank you also to Decorah Culver’s for providing lingonberry frozen custard; Eden Ehm who played the Hardanger Fiddle; the Decorah Nordic Dancers; and the Vesterheim volunteer guides who gave tours.

There was a ribbon cutting with the Decorah Chamber of Commerce, and Vesterheim President/CEO Chris Johnson expressed how much the museum appreciates all of the city support throughout this project. Vesterheim is honored to offer Heritage Park as a community asset.

Vesterheim had many partners in the project – Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Water Quality Initiative Urban Conservation Project, the Paul D. Pratt and Marguerite Olson Pratt Fund of InFaith Community Foundation, and Kate Nelson Rattenborg of Decorah. Vesterheim has also received funding from Winneshiek County Community Foundation and Humanities Iowa for interpretive signs.

Heritage Park was designed by Damon Farber, the award-winning landscape architectural firm from Minneapolis, Minnesota, in partnership with Snøhetta, the renowned international architecture and landscape architecture firm with offices in New York City and Oslo, Norway. We were able to thank them both in person at the event for their expertise, guidance, and dedication in creating this awe-inspiring place.

We hope you all have a chance to visit!

View a video of the dedication ceremony here.

View the story from KTTC News in Rochester, Minnesota, here.

Learn more about Heritage Park here.