In memory of someone special
With children’s laughter in the background, friends, family, city offiicals, and residents gathered Friday evening to dedicate Augusta’s newest park in the memory of a special young man, Dalton Palmer.
Dalton, was just 13 when he died from injuries sustained in an ATV accident in November of 2014. The young man was active in school and sports, and well-liked by his classmates and team mates.
Since 2003 the Augusta City Council was looking for ways to improve the economy downtown, and in the past 15 years, it has been a goal of members of the Augusta City Council and residents to see a downtown playground for local children.
Things came together when the old Magic Focus and lumber yard properties were purchased by lcoal businessman Troy Palmer.
City Manager Josh Shaw and former mayor Matt Childers put together some ideas and options and asked Palmer if he would be interested in helping make the downtown park a reality.
The lot was split and Palmer donated the lot to be used for a new and innovative playground in memory of Dalton.
As part of the Pride & Progress initiative, the City Council approved approximately $300,000 for the construction of the “extreme’ playground.
Augusta Mayor Mike Rawlings spoke briefly before the ribbon was cut Friday evening.
“On behalf of the Augusta City Council I would like to welcome you all to the grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony for our brand new Dalton Palmer Memorial Park, which features the Extreme Generation playground and Gravity rail. This park features the tallest piece of playground equipment in Kansas reaching nearly 30 feet into the Kansas sky along with 26 and 24 foot tall towers, 3 tunnel slides the longest being 30 feet in length, 3 fully enclosed skywalks each with a challenging activity to help develop children's overall strength and coordination...The funding for these projects is coming from our local sales tax money, so buy here at home so we can do more of these type of improvements in the future.
This park memorializes and celebrates the life of Dalton Palmer, an Augusta teenager tragically killed in an ATV accident in November 2014.
Creating this unique space has truly been a community effort The Pride and Progress sales tax contributed approximately $300,000 toward the purchase and installation of the extreme playground equipment. The Palmer family donated the property. Alan’s Excavating and Jake Jackson donated time and equipment to clear and level the ground. Augusta Rental donated equipment. The Butler County Landfill worked with us on disposing the debris. City of Augusta staff coordinated the project and installed the drainage system.
Next, we will add wrought-iron look fencing, lighting, and bench seating. Then we want to secure donations, and possibly a grant, to replace the wood fiber surface with a rubberized soft surface. The soft surface is estimated at $200,000.The project has already received donations from community members, Augusta Progress, Inc., Rotary Club of Andover, and Downtown Augusta, Inc.
Finally, I would like to thank the Augusta City Council and former Mayor Matt Childers for their vision and leadership in launching the Pride & Progress initiative and helping bring this facility to fruition. One of the things we have recognized about our organization is that we were bad at celebrating our successes. Thank you all for attending this ribbon-cutting and for celebrating this moment with us.”
When Mayor Rawlings completed his remarks, Troy Palmer cut the ribbon for the official opening of the park.