Skip to main content

The City Journals

Water conservation grant will assist Taylorsville in completing park facelift

Feb 27, 2017 09:38AM ● By Bryan Scott

This more than 50-year-old pool is gone, making room for a Taylorsville neighborhood park. (Taylorsville City)

By Carl Fauver | [email protected]
A once-thriving neighborhood swim park will soon receive a complete transformation, thanks to $200,000 from the Taylorsville City Council, along with just more than $14,000 through a first-of-its-kind grant from the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District.   
Back in the early 1960s, neighborhood developers built the Cabana Club swim park as an amenity to entice homebuyers. A few years later, those homeowners, near 1560 West 4600 South, formed their own association to maintain and operate the park. 
The site hosted countless birthday parties and barbecues for more than a half century. But as the neighborhood aged—and demand for the swimming pool dropped—it became more and more difficult for the association to continue funding pool maintenance.
When the Cabana Club pool closed in the fall of 2013, it never reopened. Taylorsville officials purchased the property two years later.
“Last year, we demolished the building and pool, while also removing several dying trees,” said City Community Development Director Mark McGrath.
“Now, over the next several months, we plan to complete the improvement project, to create a new neighborhood park.”
While putting together plans to rebuild the park, city officials also became aware of something new from the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District.  
“To encourage water conservation, we developed a fund called the ‘Landscape Leadership Grant Program,’ and Taylorsville City was the first to jump on it,” said conservation district Programs Manager Courtney Brown. “Now the city has been approved for our very first grant award.”
Using a water conservation and cost-effectiveness model to come up with a figure, the grant amount was set at $14,048.57. 
“Our calculations show, the city’s plan for the park should save 392,900 gallons of water each year,” Brown added. “Several groups have begun the application process to receive grant funding. But Taylorsville City is the first to complete all the paperwork.”
At just more than half an acre, the refurbished park will feature playground equipment, built-in barbecues, open space, walking trails and a 20-by-20-by-30-foot pavilion with picnic tables.
“Shortly after the city purchased the property, a steering committee was established to make decisions about the new park,” said McGrath. “The committee—made up of area residents and elected officials—offered several great suggestions.”
Among their many goals, the committee sought to create a community gathering place, while also paying homage to the Cabana Club’s rich history.
To help accomplish the latter, city officials have designed several interpretive signs explaining what had been on the site for 50-plus years. 
Additionally, a semi-circle of benches will be installed in the same area where parents once sat to watch their children in a wading pool.
“This was an important place to a lot of people for a long time,” McGrath added. “We want to help them remember the old club, while also creating a park that’s attractive to younger families.”
The rebuilt park will no longer include a swimming pool. Instead, several features will help the city conserve water. 
“The general watering strategy is to provide traditional spray irrigation only to the turf area (just over a quarter of the site), McGrath said. “Drip irrigation will be utilized for the parkstrip, with all other planted areas dedicated to drought tolerant shrubbery, grasses and trees.”
Additionally, the park will feature a 6-foot wall on the north and west sides to create a buffer for adjacent homeowners.
The city will unveil the new park with a grand opening celebration later this year.
“We’re excited to move forward,” McGrath said. “It’s also nice to be recognized (with the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District grant) for the effort we’re making to save water.”