City, Knudsen Parks progress toward completionSep 07, 2018 01:38PM ● By Jana Klopsch
Knudsen Park, seen here, is expected to open in 2019. (Photo courtesy Holly Smith)
By Travis Barton | [email protected]
Holladay’s City Park may need to be renamed “City Holly Park.”
That was the joke made by Councilman Paul Fotheringham as Holly Smith was updating the Holladay City Council on two of its primary parks — City Park and the upcoming Knudsen Park.
That’s because of the $2.5 million spent on City Park, 85 percent came from grants and other funding sources. All grants are written by Smith.
Built up piece by piece as funding is acquired, City Park has seen work being done since 2006–2007.
Smith presented updates on City Park from this spring and summer. With a budget of $355,000 — a majority of which came from grant funding — they installed two pickleball courts, a basketball half court, a three-bay storage shed, landscaping, sod patching and continuous grass throughout the park.
“This makes the park usable for a variety of different groups” such as Concerts in the Commons, sports clubs, weddings and city celebrations, Smith said.
There was also a line of 21 trees installed along Holladay Boulevard. According to Smith, 100 percent of funding for those trees came from a Garden Club donation and grant from the Community Forestry Partnership program.
Six swinging benches and planting baskets are next to be built behind the baseball diamond next to the north pavilion.
Smith said the final project will be adding a donor wall on the south side of the restroom building. Smith said the plan was to have a sign with Holladay City Park in big letters on the brick. The sign will also include the eight significant donors who made the park possible: Forsgren, Garden Club, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake County, Holladay City Foundation, National Parks Service, Community Forestry Partnership and Cottonwood Builders. Another donor made a hefty contribution, but wishes to remain anonymous.
The anonymous donor provided $75,000 during fundraising efforts for the playground installation.
Councilman Brett Graham said he has even more admiration for the faceless donor. “It’s great to know that there’s someone here that’s done that and it may actually encourage others to do the same if they’re in similar circumstances.”
Park utilization has been positive so far. On a weekly basis over 500 people attended the Saturday night Concerts in the Commons. On a Tuesday morning in July, City Manager Gina Chamness estimated 60 kids were using the playground. Smith said they expect the courts to be used more with time and educating the public on its uses.
“This is astounding,” Graham said. “With very limited resources the city has been able to achieve significantly meaningful open spaces and that’s great.”
The long-gestating Knudsen Park — located at the end of Holladay Boulevard beyond Cotton Bottom and Franck’s — is progressing toward its grand opening in 2019. Smith said the official ribbon-cutting ceremony is aimed to take place the weekend before Memorial Day.
Just over $3 million is the park’s budget with $2.7 million awarded from the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks recreation bond.
Amenities for the park will include a nature area, playground, trails, water play space, grass space and a wooden drawbridge. A video was shown during the Aug. 2 work meeting where the bridge was installed in about five minutes.
“It’s gonna to be a cool spot,” Mayor Rob Dahle said, adding it will probably surprise people how much use it gets.
Dahle and Councilman Mark Stewart took a tour of the construction site in July, with Stewart noting during the Aug. 2 city council meeting how excited he is for the park’s opening.
“I think the public is going to be very happy and surprised when they see what a great park it’ll be,” he said.