Recreation dollars are well spent
Overnight, it seems, the snow has receded from playing fields around Summit County and, just as quickly, those grassy expanses have been flooded with kids kicking soccer balls, swinging bats and waving lacrosse sticks.
Some of those fields are seeing their first season of play and already are fully scheduled. Driving by acres of uniformed Little Leaguers and little soccer players, one question immediately comes to mind: Where would all of these kids be if the fields had not been built?
Five years ago, the Oakley riding arena and playing fields were a cow pasture, the Basin Field House was a drawing in an architect’s notebook, Willow Creek Park was still being debated and the Park City Ice Arena and adjacent fields were a ballot measure. All three are already in use and promise to be active throughout the summer.
It is important to note, too, the new parks have been established just in time as undeveloped open space is appreciating in value or disappearing at an alarming pace.
Those who plan to enjoy the fields from Ecker Hill to the Oakley Recreation Complex this summer owe a debt of thanks to all of the visionaries who worked so hard to rally voter support for past recreation bonds and to city, county and district administrators who crafted the financial deals to secure property. They are too numerous to mention but they are also in need of fresh recruits. As our communities continue to grow more trails, baseball diamonds and soccer fields will be needed.
The Snyderville Basin Recreation District is already hinting at another bond, perhaps for a public swimming pool. The residents of Kamas would likely encourage that effort as their pool turned into an instantly popular community center that sees plenty of visitors from the West Side of the county.
According to a recent statement from the Basin Rec District, the relatively young organization has already accumulated $33 million in recreation-related assets. We would venture to say that local taxpayers don’t regret any of the money that has been spent.
This summer, as residents of Park City swarm City Park, the skate park and the Racquet Club and county residents romp on their fields and trails, everyone should take a moment to recognize the monumental effort it took to create those facilities and renew their commitment to continuing to support future parks and public recreation opportunities.
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Judy Horwitz writes in a guest editorial that Summit County voters must continue to support a vital source of funding for the area’s arts and culture institutions.