MERRILLVILLE | Union support was prevalent Thursday in Merrillville as the town hosted a groundbreaking and dedication ceremony for Union Park.
"This is for the men and women of labor," said Town Council President Carol Miano, a retired Teamster.
The park is being developed in the 7200 block of Broadway.
Randy Palmateer, business manager for the Northwestern Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council, believes the park is the first of its kind in the area to honor local unions.
Palmateer is appreciative of the support area unions receive from local elected officials.
"Without them, we wouldn't exist," he said.
Palmateer believes the local union support is especially important because there is an "anti-union sentiment" in other areas of the state.
He said Merrillville is an appropriate location for the park because many unions have headquarters in the town.
Merrillville officials have been planning the Union Park project for about a year.
The town acquired the property for the facility in 2012.
It was listed on a tax sale, but Lake County commissioners were instrumental in taking the land off of tax sale so Merrillville could obtain it, officials said.
The only cost to acquire the land was an attorney fee of $209.
Miano said Union Park won't include playground equipment but rather would be a place for reflection.
She said a completion date for the project hasn't been established.