New Dodge park slated for summer completion

A group of citizens that approached the Dodge City Council with a proposal to build a new city park now are progressing on the project.

By BRYCE MARTIN

Herald Editor

Posted March 29, 2013 

DODGE — A group of citizens that approached the Dodge City Council with a proposal to build a new city park now are progressing on the project.

Four Dodge residents – Lisa Pederson, Darlene Riley, Amanda Lorenz and Rita Lorenz – recommended in January that the city council consider taking action on establishing a new recreational area for the increasing amount of youth coming into the area.

The city agreed it was a good idea and permitted the group of residents the task of finding new equipment for the park.

“It’s just something a couple of us realized needed to happen and we just found some equipment and asked them to take care of it,” Rita Lorenz said. “It’s something we had seen that needed to be done.”

When the small elementary school in Dodge ceased operations due to dwindling enrollment numbers, it was a difficult time for the community. Students were split between either Halliday or Beulah schools and there no longer was a playground for Dodge’s children to use.

Lorenz served on the school board and as a bus driver; Riley, principal of the school and Pederson also worked at the school.

Coming from a background of serving the community’s youth, the women banded together in efforts to continue their service to the community.

Lorenz, 50, is a grandmother of two and used that as inspiration to get the city to move on a park proposal.

“I have two grandchildren and they loved going on the playground equipment,” she said. “When that got moved out of town, there was just nothing left to really do.”

The location of the new park, on a tennis court-sized lot behind Dodge City Hall, will feature a slide, monkey bars and other varying playground equipment for children of all ages. The equipment was purchased through a Dickinson-based company, who will install it after the city prepares the lot.

“It’ll be a nice little recreation for the kids,” Lorenz said. “Somewhere for parents to sit, too, with their littler children.”

A $3,000 grant was procured for the project by Diane Allmendinger, another Dodge resident. That money will go to add city benches and picnic tables to the park area.

The initial cost for the project is estimated around $15,000, plus the cost of preparation and installation. It is tentatively scheduled for completion in June.

Contact Bryce Martin at bmartin@countrymedia.net.


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