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Wyatt Earp Medians

On June 2, 2008 the city commissioners of Dodge City, Kansas voted to approve the companies to landscape medians along reconstructed Wyatt Earp Boulevard.

The name Dodge City (Kansas) still evokes the Old West and the days of frontier settlement. Dodge was a cattle town and to this day has one of the largest beef processing plants in the U.S.

The men most associated with the ol' Dodge--Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson--have kept Hollywood and TV cowboy programs flush with fodder for years. While Earp was only an assistant marshall in Dodge and really didn't become infamous until he and his brothers moved to Tombstone and shot it out at the OK Corral, Dodge has named a boulevard after Earp, erected a statue and keeps part of the downtown as a frontier tourist attraction. However, the historic 19th century buildings on Front Street made way to a 1970 urban renewal project.

Dodge City's Wyatt Earp statue is at the corner of Central and Wyatt Earp Blvd. The eponymous boulevard and statue are among the city's references to the legendary lawman.

Urban renewal was not in Earp's lexicon, but it is an issue for even small towns like Dodge, pop.

25,000. There are always projects to tackle. The Dodge City commissioners voted June 2, 2008 to approve the companies who will landscape the medians along reconstructed Wyatt Earp Blvd. The project includes installing irrigation, planting sod, putting in additional planter beds and concrete pavers installed in the 14th Ave. medians. Earp would turn over in his grave if he knew Dodge was indulging in such fancy pants goings on.

Appropriately, the landscaping is financed from the Wyatt Earp project fund. A $5.9 million second phase of reconstruction on Wyatt Earp Blvd. will begin Jan. 1, 2009.

The Ol' West still stirs hearts and minds, but modern Dodge much prefers smooth asphalt to rutted dirt roads and "purty" medians to dusty ones.

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October 17, 2019, 6:20 am PDT

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