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Get Out and Explore: The "Old" Hillside Park

By Elly, on 23-08-2008 12:29

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Published in : User Columns, Elly (Get out and Explore)

hillside park pavillionHillside Park—you know, the one on Open Hill Drive where the stream tumbles through—has some great features. There are picnic tables and a small pavilion which is precious and rare in Daybreak. The soccer field provides much-needed open green space in our community of small yards. And there’s the stream, which is not only great fun for the kids but absolutely beautiful with its stone wall and geometric structure softening into a natural stream bed. But the whole place is looking pretty straggly these days.

It sort of feels like the park got off to a great start but was never really finished, let alone maintained. The field is not so much a lawn as a patchy, muddy mess. The half-hearted hillside park weedslandscaping is slowly dying from bad irrigation and weeds. If you want to have a cookout, you bring your own grill (no kidding, I’ve seen people haul their shiny patio barbeques up in the back of a pickup). And while my school-age boys love the physical challenge of the playground equipment, it’s not much fun for little ones. In fact, the whole park is not so great for parents with little kids. Between fears that they’ll fall in the creek and drown or fall off the climbing structure and break a limb, you pretty much follow your toddlers around in nervous dread.

Well, good news for moms and dads and tots and, in fact, all Daybreak residents: Hillside Park is getting a facelift! It’s been turned over to South Jordan City and they’re planning some great improvements to be implemented in the next year (thanks to some lobbying from our favorite Daybreak activist: Scoop). The stream will stay—we wouldn’t want it out anyway—but a big new playground will give those busy two-year olds a safe place to play. Also, besides general upkeep and landscaping, there will be trees planted around and inside the park and along the trail providing much-needed shade. Gravel and bark areas will turn into sturdy asphalt and soft grass where appropriate. New grills will be installed so you can leave yours in your backyard. And best of all, a new public bathroom will keep the local homeowners from having to share theirs.

hillside park streamI’m really excited about all these changes. Hillside Park, you see, is near and dear to my heart. It provided that final tipping of the scales to move our family to Daybreak. Last year, we’d been looking at house after house after house for sale in other parts of the valley. But I’d promised my kids we’d go to Daybreak one more time to visit that park they’d been begging to see—the one with the funky climbing toy that looked like a wavy sculpture. As we were walking along the stream, marveling in the springtime beauty of wildflowers and grasses around us, and as I watched my kids’ joy at playing in the water and rocks I thought about what a wonderful place this was. I thought how lucky these people were who lived in Daybreak and could visit this beautiful park—and the others, too—every day. And then I realized, hey, we could live here. And so we did. And now, I’m one of those lucky Daybreak residents who can enjoy Hillside Park as it reaches its full potential.

Last update: 10-09-2008 22:31

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