By MIKE COURSON
Great Bend Post
The city of Great Bend is looking to improve the area with its Quality of Life projects. Great Bend Kiwanis Club is eyeing a project of its own. The club would like to help with the installation of new playground equipment and a bathroom in the park located just off 281 Bypass between Broadway and Park streets. Great Bend Kiwanis Board Member Suresh Maharjan said kids on the east side of the city also need a safe place to play.
"We picked that park because that side of the city has a lot of kids, and they don't have a nice, safe place to play," he said. "For them to go downtown or to Vets Park, it's a commute. Having the park existing over there, if we could renovate it and make it more kid-friendly and family-friendly, neighborhood kids could utilize the park for good. Also, having the good park and utilizing it, we thought we could increase the vibe in that part of town."
Kiwanis has talked with the city of Great Bend and Great Bend Public Library about a partnership for improvements in the past. The planning is still in its infancy, but Maharjan wants to make sure the club is headed toward action.
"Rather than talking the talk, we're trying to implement more of an action item," he said. "We want to put in a playground, how much does that cost? We want to put in a swing, how much will that cost? We want to put a bathroom in there. How much is it going to cost? We're trying to basically come in with an item and a cost associated with it. Once we have that, then we can present to the city or our committee."
Maharjan estimates the project could cost up to $200,000, and would include new playground equipment, new swings, and a bathroom. Kiwanis has around $32,000 to spend on the project and is looking for help from the city and other contributors. The local club recently applied for a $25,000 Legacy of Play prize. Legacy, a playground equipment manufacturer, awards one Kiwanis club $25,000 each year to be used for playground equipment to enhance a park.
The Legacy prize is up for a vote that began Sept. 18 and ends Sept. 30. The winner of the prize will be announced on Oct. 13. To vote on the Great Bend playground, CLICK HERE and click the heart button at the bottom of the page. To contact Maharjan about a donation, email [email protected]