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The City Journals

Herriman Hires First Parks Director

Oct 06, 2016 02:40PM ● By Tori LaRue

Wendy Thomas joined Herriman City as the director of Parks and Recreation. (Tami Moody/Herriman)

By Tori La Rue | [email protected]

It’s not a slow time in the Herriman Parks and Recreation Department. With big projects imminent, such as the renovation and expansion of several trails and the development of the $50 million Real Salt Lake soccer training facility, city officials hired Herriman’s first director of parks and recreation. 

“It has been very challenging and very exciting,” said Wendy Thomas, Herriman’s first parks and recreation director. “A lot of fun things are happening out here.”

Thomas came to Herriman after working for South Jordan for more than eight years. She started at South Jordan managing the senior center but eventually transitioned to a more recreational role. Although Herriman and South Jordan border each other, Thomas said she’s beginning to notice the differences in their recreational amenities. 

“The development of a trail system, for example, is not something that we had in South Jordan,” she said. “That has been kind of exciting to look at the options we have available with the open space that is out in Herriman.” 

The trail system has been one of Thomas’ primary focuses since assuming the position with Herriman in mid-July. She’s working to get two trails, Juniper Canyon and Midas Creek, to connect across Mountain View Corridor.  

Thomas said her favorite thing about working on public amenities is seeing how they affect the people who utilize them. 

“Just the joy that you see on people’s face when they are recreating and having fun—that is what it is all about,” Thomas said. “Seeing somebody cross that finish line or learn how to swim for the first time or just the excitement of going to a park and seeing kids run to the playground—that’s what makes my job fun and exciting.” 

Thomas helps plan and organize parks and city recreational events, but she said it’s ironic because she doesn’t participate in as many recreation activities as she used to. As a wife and mother of two, she said she’s constantly running her children to baseball and other activities, leaving less time for her own recreation. Thomas runs when she finds spare time. She also hikes, camps and skis with her family. 

She said she’s already starting to connect with the Herriman city staff and residents she’s met, and she’s looking forward to getting to know them better. 

“I think it is the community involvement and how much people care about Herriman City that makes it unique,” Thomas said. “The residents and staff who I have met so far have been so kind and gracious and so willing to reach out and help—willing to answer questions and fill me in on different projects, willing to fill me in on the background of different things.” 

Tami Moody, public information officer for Herriman, said it’s been a relief to have Thomas as part of the staff. 

“It has been wonderful,” she said. “With our rapid growth, it’s been very important for us to establish this position and fill it with someone who has a strong background and has that vision, who is able to help us take the city to where it needs to go and help it grow in the areas that it needs to.”