A new sculpture will adorn St. Charles' Bob Leonard Walkway this spring and complete the path with a special tribute to Leonard's love for being airborne.
The $30,000 sculpture, "If I Could But Fly," depicts a bronze, winged object. River Corridor Foundation of St. Charles member Joe Boyd said foundation members saw the sculpture as an appropriate finishing touch for the walkway because of the many years Leonard spent as a United Airlines pilot. Leonard, who died in 2006, was one of the original advocates of beautifying the riverbanks in the city.
"It represents realizing your dreams," Boyd said of the sculpture. "It caught everyone's attention when we first saw it. Bob Leonard was a visionary. And, appropriately, it took us several years of raising money to acquire the sculpture."
Boyd said the foundation will now turn its attention to portions of the river on the opposite bank and near city hall. The Bob Leonard 5K and accompanying events will remain in place to further those efforts and assist with the ongoing maintenance of the riverwalk.
A sculpture will sit on a raised pedestal and have a base that may list the names of volunteers who have been particularly involved with the riverwalk over the years, Boyd said. It will be installed this spring on a portion of the walkway between Illinois Street and Prairie Street.
"The purchase of this almost 6-foot bronze sculpture is the final major element of the Bob Leonard Walkway," said foundation Chairman Larry Maholland in a written statement. "It culminates over 10 years of collaboration among the River Corridor Foundation of St. Charles, Downtown St. Charles Partnership, city, county and park district. The sculpture, along with the entire walkway, is a symbol of what can be accomplished through public and private cooperation and collaboration as well as memorializing Bob Leonard as a driving force behind this walkway."