Bingham Creek Park gets input at Daybreak open house
Jun 10, 2019 11:45AM
● By Jennifer J Johnson
South Jordan residents in general and Daybreak community residents in specific provided input to Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City-based architect Think at a public-input session at the end of March. (Photo Credit: Salt Lake County)
By Jennifer J. Johnson | [email protected]
It makes sense that what will be the largest regional park in the area would have the most engaged public outreach process.
“I enjoy all parks with my grandkids,” said Walt Gilmore, associate director of Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation. “But,” he paused, first looking around a school gymnasium, featuring features and park construction milestones, added “this one … this one has a special place.”
Daybreak residents getting say-so and showing-so via web and other strategies
Bingham Creek Regional Park is now, literally, on the drawing board.
Approved for $12 million in funding from the 2016 Parks and Recreation Bond and buoyed by $3 million from South Jordan, the regional park set to be the largest in the county is scheduled to see construction in fall 2020 and have its first phase open in fall 2021.
SoJo residents are making sure they have their say on it.
They have been having some say since 2017, when a group of interested, impassioned area residents led by current South Jordan/Daybreak City Councilman Jason McGuire, organized a Facebook group.
McGuire took on the somewhat extraordinary step of hosting residents’ own visioning session, then lobbied to be included in the park’s master-planning process and even set up an aspirational website.
The optimistic question of the “Better Places, Better Life website?”
“What if Welby Park set a new design standard?”
The “what if” section of the website features side-by-side images of SLCO-standard park elements compared to Daybreak’s treatment of the same elements. Trails, pavilions, playgrounds and even toilets are shown, with the county photo looking like the sad, bloated-belly “before” image in a weight-loss product ad, and the Daybreak image being the stunning flat-tummy “after shot.”
“The effectiveness of our efforts is still to be determined and will remain unknown until the final design drawings and renderings are shared with the public,” said McGuire, who added former County Mayor Ben McAdams attended the group’s meetings, listening to their concerns.
Back when the website was created in 2017, the 160-acre park-in-the-making, set to be located at 10200 South 4800 West, was known as “Welby Park.” The park’s name has since been changed to pay tribute to the area’s most recognized natural asset, the Bingham Creek.
It was also “long before” Daybreak’s park advocate McGuire “ever thought [he] would be on the [South Jordan] City Council.” McGuire’s advocacy has been praised by residents who perceive an impassioned resident-turned-impassioned councilman, seeking Daybreak standards for the new park.
The park is set to become the area’s largest park, among the county’s more than 100 parks.
But simply stating that does not do it justice. To put things in perspective, Bingham Creek Regional Park will be 30 percent larger than Sugar House Park and twice the size of Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park.
The latest SLCO open house – tails, trails and volleyball soft-fails
Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation, the project driver, sponsored an open house March 28 at Daybreak’s Golden Fields Elementary School. The site was a fitting one, inasmuch as Bingham Creek Park will connect with the school.
According to Colby Hill, SoJo associate director of public works, the goal of the event was to present the 2018 master plan for the project, receive input and learn about the first phase of construction on the park. (Incidentally, the master plan is in its third iteration for property the county has owned—and augmented—since the 1960s. McGuire recounts the county hosting an open house approximately 10 years ago for park planning.)
The county’s latest open house yielded a variety of ideas, including more consideration for dog owners’ enjoyment of the park, more trails connectivity with existing Daybreak trails and the addition of sand volleyball courts and multiple skate spots.
Residents wondered aloud why there was only a single basketball court and wanted to know where they would be able to rent bicycles, scooters and boards. They also asserted the need for access to more pavilion spaces.
A ‘generational park’ with generational input
South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey, McGuire and his city council colleagues Brad Marlor and Don Shelton all attended the SLCO park-planning open house.
McGuire said the Better Places, Better Life group and website emphasized “awesome playgrounds”; great, wide, connected trails; park-complementary pavilions and restrooms; and all-age amenities of various sorts.
Probably the most creative feedback SLCO, SoJo and Murray-based project architect Think Architecture received was from a 9-year-old. Briana suggested park planners include “secret passageways” in the park and zip lines for disabled folks to be able to use.
Intuitively, the 9-year-old has embraced the concept of urban planning’s “Complete Streets” and the Better Places, Better Life’s seeking multi-age amenities, where projects are designed to accommodate the most vulnerable of populations.
“One great thing about parks is they can be adapted and changed to meet the needs of future use,” McGuire said.