Staples, Minn.,
17:03 PM

Dalton's Playground

Turning tragedy into an opportunity for children

Dalton Palmer is remembered by many as an adventurous, bold, and fearless kid. When the 13-year-old boy from Augusta, Kansas, was tragically killed in an ATV accident in 2014, his family and city leaders wanted to build a playground that would commemorate his memory and reflect his personality.

In October 2018, the community came together to celebrate Augusta’s 150th anniversary, as well as cut the ribbon to the Dalton Palmer Memorial Play Park, built with the expertise of Sourcewell-awarded vendor Miracle Recreation Equipment, a subsidiary of PlayPower Inc.

After receiving the donation of property and a portion of the park’s funding from Dalton’s family, Augusta officials began exploring options to ensure this park would be like no other. Augusta City Administrator Josh Shaw reached out to a variety of playground manufacturers for proposals. After meeting with Greg Stein, Miracle’s local representative from Custom Play Systems, Shaw was intrigued by Miracle’s Extreme Generation and Gravity Rail products. The Extreme Generation’s bold colors, unique roofs, and elevated skyways, along with the thrill of the Gravity Rail, proved the perfect fit.

The design of Dalton Palmer Memorial Play Park brings play to new heights, quite literally. Miracle’s Extreme Generation ADA tower is taller than most buildings in downtown Augusta and is reportedly the tallest playground in Kansas and one of three tallest in the nation.

While the design initially won over city officials, the purchasing decision was made even easier due to the contract between Miracle and Sourcewell. The team at Ozark Mountain Installations created this massive playground that includes:

• A nearly 30-foot tower with a 16-foot deck and 30-foot slide.

• Two towers reaching more than 26 and 24 feet high, each with 12-foot decks and tunnel slides.

• Three, 20-foot, fully enclosed skyways connecting at 12 feet high, each featuring a challenging activity to help develop children’s overall strength, coordination, and proprioception.

• A one-of-a-kind gravity rail that swings riders around a rollercoaster-like circular track.

“Ultimately, this is why we do what we do,” says PlayPower Inc. Director of Sales David Sheedy. “While the vast majority of the business we do isn’t quite as inspirational, I like to share the communication for these types of projects when we can.”

About Sourcewell

Sourcewell is a self-supporting government organization, partnering with education, government, and nonprofits to boost student and community success. Created in 1978 as one of Minnesota’s nine service cooperatives, we offer training and shared services to our central-Minnesota members. Throughout North America, we offer a cooperative purchasing program with more than 325 awarded vendors on contract. Sourcewell is driven by service and the ability to strategically reinvest in member communities.