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The City Journals

Salt Lake County marks 75 years of Parks and Recreation with tree planting

Jun 28, 2021 01:59PM ● By Lindsey Baxter

By Lindsey Baxter | [email protected]

Neighbors, elected officials, and community members joined together on a sunny day to kickoff a summer-long celebration at Evergreen Park May 14. Mayor of Salt Lake County, Jenny Wilson recognized Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation’s 75th birthday. Evergreen Park was chosen because it was the first in what is now over 100 park spaces across the valley managed by Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation. The acquisition of Evergreen Park 75 years ago on May 11, 1946 launched what has now grown into one of the largest parks, trails, recreation, and open space management organizations in the region. Evergreen Park, located at 2230 E. 3425 South, is a beloved jewel of the community that had many members in attendance reminiscing about their childhoods. 

Wilson had fond memories of playing at Evergreen Park. “I think the 75-year history of Parks and Recreation is to be noted,” she said. “I have a particular love of this park because I remembered it from my childhood. I mentioned the pumpkin Cinderella-esque playground round item, and I remember when we came in here to update the park with the building of the community rec center, there was a lot of love for this park but also for that sculpture.”

Jeff Silvestrini, mayor of Millcreek, said, “The pumpkin is really beautiful, and it has a lot of memories for people that grew up in this park like Mayor Wilson, and for our kids who still play on it.”

Amy May, executive director of Tree Utah, explained that the collaboration between Ivory Homes, Tree Utah, Salt Lake County Park and Recreation, and the county started in fall 2020 after a major windstorm. May said, “Ivory homes, to help the community address the loss of numerous trees, the replanting efforts began. We also actually planted a bunch of trees with the Jordan River Commission in Millcreek on the Jordan River this spring with students from major high schools as well.” 

Silvestrini added, “I just think that this is a terrific public-private partnership that we have great private sponsors with Ivory and others and Tree Utah and the county. It’s really nice to see us working together on something that’s worthwhile that not only beautifies this park and replaces some of the trees that were taken by the…storm, but it helps with air quality, it helps with keeping our environment cooler, it helps with climate, it’s really important work.”

May said, “I was doing a walk-thru last week and noticed there wasn’t a single evergreen in Evergreen Park, and I wanted to make sure we planted evergreens.”  

Silvestrini added, “It’s Evergreen Avenue, that’s where it got its name from.” 

Wilson said, “This is a great small park, and one of the jewels in the county park system. It’s just great to be here on the 75th anniversary in a great community, in a park that’s quite loved.” 

Check slco.org/parks-recreation/ for a schedule of commemorative celebrations this summer.