While covering the Cal Ripken 11-under State Tournament in Edmonton last week, it struck me again the cooperation it took to establish Memorial Park. Edmonton and the Metcalfe County School District has had to work together in good faith through the years to provide an area for youth and high school athletics as good as the one the county of less than 15,000 has.
There are more populous areas that do not have park and recreation facilities as good as those in Edmonton. In 2009, the district and the city renewed the agreement to allow the district’s athletics teams to continue to use the facilities. The district’s football teams have a field, the baseball team, the softball team, the top-notched tennis program all utilize Edmonton Memorial Park. It is a shining example of what can be accomplished when two public organizations develop a shared vision for the communities they serve.
According to a Daily Times story from 2009, the park was developed as an ambition of Mayor Howard Garrett, in conjunction with then board of education chairman Steve Thompson.
“Mayor Garrett said eight years ago he had a vision of building a city park in Edmonton and when he indicated that to me one day I began to think how can we get involved to make it better,” Thompson said during a meeting in 2009.
During the next year, Thompson said he and Garrett worked out an agreement that would allow the board of education to get involved and “make it better for all age groups.”
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