Kiwanis Park highlights the power of civic engagement and community support

·3 min read

Sep. 23—DICKINSON — Service is at the very heart of every Kiwanis International club, and can be directly linked to more than 150,000 community service projects each year. The organization devotes more than 6 million hours of service and raises nearly $100 million for communities, families and projects annually.

The Roughrider Kiwanis Club in Dickinson is all about making friends — and making an impact in the local community. The club adopted Lincoln Park three years ago and with the help of Dickinson Parks and Recreation have installed new playground equipment and a half court basketball area with the help of Eagle Scout Jack Olson.

Olson led the master plan to build a half-court basketball area as part of his Eagle Scout project. The large-scale undertaking required the youth to raise approximately $2,500, which was achieved through financial contributions from Winn Construction, Dickinson Ready mix, Roughrider Country Kiwanis and other individual donors.

"Jake's Eagle Scout project was a huge contribution," Ninetta Wandler, longtime RoughRider Kiwanis member, said. "It now attracts some older children to the park, not just the younger ones, so it makes the park all-age friendly."

Wandler spoke about the process taken by the Kiwanis to adopt the park, noting that the efforts were aimed at giving an otherwise overlooked park a brand new beginning.

"Deb Kudrna was very instrumental in the process. She contacted Dickinson Parks and Rec and found out which parks they felt were in the most need of help. Together they selected Lincoln Park," she said. "With the monetary assistance of the Roughrider Kiwanis Club and Dickinson Parks and Rec, who installed the equipment, Kiwanis Park was born."

Kiwanis is home to some of the largest youth service programs in the world. Many local club programs empower elementary school students, from elementary to teens, to make an impact through service and leadership.

The Kiwanis hosted their 3rd Annual Neighborhood Picnic at the park in celebration of the successful adoption and new equipment last month, attracting many members of the community to celebrate.

"I think civic organizations are very important to every community as it gets people involved in helping those in need, and even places in need. It keeps our community as a viable place to work and play, it makes the community a better place to live."

Wandler said that on the list now is a project aimed at raising funds for a sprinkler system to maintain the lush green area for families to enjoy during the summer months.

"Next on the agenda for the park is to raise funds for irrigation and to plant trees," Wandler said. "Since this is a half court basketball area, it would be nice to fill the other half eventually. Some other projects that would be nice down the road would be to provide more shelters with picnic tables and benches, possibly even more trees."

Speaking of the accomplishments the Kiwanis have achieved over the years in the community, Wandler noted that she was proud of the level of commitment Dickinson and the surrounding areas have in supporting their community.

"The satisfaction of this accomplishment... this is very rewarding to say I was a part of that particular project," she said. "To see all the young people at this park playing on new equipment is heartwarming."

For additional information on the RoughRider Kiwanis Club, join the club or send donations, interested parties can contact Jason Henderson at 701-361-1139, Tom Wyckoff at 701-290-6756, Jason Jacobs at 701-260-5081, or Ninetta Wandler at 701-260-4278.

The Kiwanis Park is located at 1084 2nd Ave E, in Dickinson.