Parks and Rec: “The Heart and Soul of this City”
May 05, 2016 03:48PM
● By Briana Kelley
By Briana Kelley | briana@mycityjournals
South Valley - Pickleball, Recycle Day, cemeteries, Town Days--these are a few of the many activities and responsibilities that Riverton City’s Park and Recreation Department covers throughout the year. The department oversees all functions and responsibilities of parks development and maintenance, recreation activities, community events and city facilities management with only fourteen employees. Riverton City officials’ goal is to maintain a sense of community and, according to some, the parks and recreation department is the heart and soul of this endeavor.
“This department operates as the heart and soul of this City. Directed by Sheril Garn, Riverton City Parks & Recreation functions with the highest level of efficiency and success. The experience, dedication to quality programs and cooperation among this team sets a standard that is hard to achieve in any organization,” Lance Blackwood, City Manager, said.
The Riverton Recreation Department facilitates all city recreation activities and programs, which include annual events such as the Riverton City Half Marathon, Daddy/Daughter and Mother/Son date-night events and Town Days events. Staff also heads healthy community activities and youth and adult sports leagues such as soccer, lacrosse, softball, baseball, football, volleyball and tennis.
Last year, the department ran many of the 200 events during Riverton’s 2015 sesquicentennial celebration, considered to be an important milestone in the city’s history. The City Park, which was renovated and opened during the celebrations, was recognized with several awards, including the Citation Design Award, Best Landscape/Urban Development Project and Most Outstanding Landscape Public Space Outstanding Award.
Garn, the director of the department, was also recently awarded the “My Boss is a Patriot” award by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), the lead Defence Department office promoting cooperation and understanding between civilian employers and their National Guard and Reserve employees. She was nominated by an employee currently serving abroad in the National Guard at the April 5 council meeting.
“This is a small group of people who do big things for this City and all of its residents. When it comes to programs and facilities that bring people together and support families with long-standing traditions that can be counted on to create treasured memories year-after-year, no City does it better than Riverton Parks & Recreation!” Angela Trammell, Riverton City’s Public Information Officer, said.
As for upcoming activities, the city has a substantial lineup this summer for low- and no-cost fun. This includes Riverton City Concerts in the Park, the Home, Hand, Harvest Markets, summer movies in the park and food truck frenzy events. Information about these and other events is available online at www.rivertoncity.
An annual calendar is also available to pick up throughout the year at City Hall when residents visit the Parks & Recreation desk. Residents can also keep up with city announcements and activities on Facebook or Twitter.
The parks side of the department has five employees and is responsible for the city’s 29 parks plus open space, city-owned retention and detention ponds. This totals over 170 acres. They oversee mowing, irrigating, tree maintenance and upkeep. The department also maintains Riverton City Cemetery.
“Decisions and plans within the Parks & Recreation Department can directly affect the vitality and sense of community residents experience while living in Riverton. Clean, well-maintained parks and open spaces, along with quality programs and activities, inspire pride and unite citizens who are invested in a safe and high quality-of-life for themselves and their families,” Trammell said.
The department also works with the facilities crew to upkeep the quality and cleanliness of city facilities used on a daily basis and those reserved by individuals and groups throughout the year. These include the Sandra N. Lloyd Community Center, CR Hamilton Sports Complex, and an array of park facilities. The Old Dome Meeting Hall and outdoor pavilions at the Riverton City Park are the newest facilities available for reservation by the public.
“The Riverton City Parks, Facility, and Recreation crews are second to none. They are a group of dedicated, hard working, happy individuals that take pride in their work and they are a joy to work with,” Garn said.