Two parks renamed; third dog park added

A downtown skatepark After a hearty debate over the nuances of renaming parks, Wichita City Council members today changed two park names.

Edgemoor Skate Park was renamed Ryan Woodward Memorial Skate Park in honor of the 15-year-old who advocated for skate parks citywide and encouraged skaters to treat the parks with respect. Woodward was killed when a car struck him as he rode to the Edgemoor park last year.

Jeff Woodward spoke through tears, thanking the city for creating a new park naming policy and honoring his son. He said the park isn’t to honor how he died; it’s to honor how he lived.

The city’s first dog park at Chapin Park was renamed Arson Canine Ashley’s Memorial Dog Park. Ashley was the first dog brought into the fire department’s canine unit in 1994. Ashley worked on 161 fire scenes and her work resulted in 33 felony arrests for arson, aggravated arson and homicide.

City Council members also approved $170,000 in funding for the city’s third dog park, which will be located at Meridian and 21st Street.