Residents offer suggestions for St. George’s arts, parks and trails master plan

St. George residents share their thoughts with city planners on what should be incorporated into an update of the city’s park and trail master plan, St. George, Utah, Sept. 11, 2018 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – How should St. George plan for the future in regard to arts, parks and recreation? City officials have started the process of updating the city’s park and trail master plan and are looking to the public to help shape it.

Residents gathered on the third floor of the Dixie Academy building Tuesday evening in St. George for an open house to share ideas with city planners.

St. George residents shared their thoughts with city planners on what should be incorporated into an update of the city’s park and trail master plan, St. George, Utah, Sept. 11, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“Feedback is really important in bringing this plan together,” said Steve Duh, of Conservation Technix, a consulting firm hired by St. George to help move the plan forward.

The last time the city’s park and trail master plan was updated was 2006, with Tuesday’s public meeting being the first of three at which residents can share their thoughts and recommendations in shaping the future of the city’s parks, trails, arts, recreational facilities and programs.

City officials are calling the process “Envision St. George.”

Read more: ‘Every voice counts’; city seeks public input on future of arts, parks and recreation

“We want the public to help us envision what St. George will be in regard to parks and trails,” Mayor Jon Pike said.

St. George has become well known for its parks and trails, as well as recreational facilities like the 24-court pickleball complex in Little Valley that sees regular use.

St. George residents shared their thoughts with city planners on what should be incorporated into an update of the city’s park and trail master plan, St. George, Utah, Sept. 11, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Attendees were seated at tables and instructed to write down what they personally felt needed to be added and addressed in the master plan update, as well as decide what their table collectively felt was important.

An expansion of pickleball courts at the Little Valley complex, as well as additional pickleball courts in other areas of St. George, was a common theme among attendees.

Read more: Pickleball a draw for St. George move-ins

“Pickleball courts are very important,” said one man who had been selected to speak for his table.

He added that in order to bring a national pickleball tournament to St. George, the existing complex would have to be expanded.

Increasing the connectivity of the city’s trails was also repeatedly mentioned, which is also a goal of the St. George active transportation plan.

Other suggestions residents shared at the open house included:

  • A dedicated performing arts center and concert venue.
  • Benches with shade covers along trails.
  • Creating a St. George community center similar to the one in Washington City.
  • Bringing in a music festival of some kind.
  • More festivals and cultural events as such wine and food-based ones.
  • City-sponsored STEM programs focused on the city’s youth.
  • Creating heritage preservation sites that would protect archaeological sites within city limits.
  • Creating a shooting park on the outskirts of the city.
  • Finding a way to better coordinate and consolidate activities, shows and events in St. George so residents have an easier way to know what’s going on. The information would be posted on a website or accessible via phone.

“That’s one of the reasons we do this,” Pike said, referring to the many opinions given. “We really want a broad spectrum of what people have to say.”

Though it was not mentioned during Tuesday’s open house, Pike said he’s been approached by young members of the community who have asked for a new skate park to be built on the east side of the city.

St. George residents shared their thoughts with city planners on what should be incorporated into an update of the city’s park and trail master plan, St. George, Utah, Sept. 11, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“We do have to balance all of this,” Pike said as he pointed to all of the requests for the master plan and what funding may be available to the city.

As the meeting concluded city staff began to collect the notes left by attendees that will be reviewed and potentially incorporated into the master plan.

Duh said Tuesday’s meeting would be followed by two others to be announced at a later date.

“This meeting was awesome,” SunRiver resident Wayne Fackerel said. “St. George has done a good job planning to this point and this shows they’re still looking ahead.”

Another resident, Richard Ranstrom, said he wondered if the city really would actually listen to what the public said.

“Whether it will have any influence or not, or if it’s just placating the population, I don’t know,” he said.

Both Ranstrom and Fackerel support the city having more pickleball courts.

Individuals who did not attend the open house can still offer their thoughts on the master plan update through a survey on the city’s website.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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8 Comments

  • Redbud September 13, 2018 at 5:41 am

    Can we have more bars in St. George?

    • tazzman September 13, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Sure, iron ones out at the correctional facility.

  • Not_So_Much September 13, 2018 at 8:43 am

    A shooting range on the west or south side sounds good to me. Will the BLM cooperate?

  • Striker4 September 13, 2018 at 11:35 am

    What we really need is about another dozen golf courses

  • Kilroywashere September 13, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Not_ so_ much, put that shooting range 100′ near Mayor Pike’s house PLEASE. Or the East side. Make that the Far East side. It is a lovely thing to hear gun shots all day in your house even with all the windows closed. You should hear it when the big guage shotguns and 50 cals ring out. Almost minics light artillery. Now I’m not against guns, but hearing them all day long from the hills across the canyon from where I live violates my right to persueing happiness and a peaceful existance. Indoor range, where sound is contained, no problem with that. However shooting at 945pm at night or for 10 hours non stop, kind of makes one feel like you are living in the green zone in Iraq, or reliving the Tet offensive in rhe Vietnam War. Oh, but I have the damn right! It is noise pollution at best, and if I wanted a soundtrack of gunshots going off all day, I would live in parts of Detroit or South Central LA. As I said, put your gun range next to Mayor Pike, or better yet adjacent to the Ledges. I’m sure Kayenta would give it a SHOT. Lastly we have enough Pickleball courts – maybe a real 18 disc golf course would be nice. The 9 basket in Bloomington is a nice start. At least it caters to people of all ages and not just old fogeys.

  • Dennis September 13, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Too much picklball Sun River has enough for the residents. Need more tennis facilities & programs for adults.

    Need more entertainment geared to adults, kids don’ t need to be involved in say New Years Eve after 6 pm.

    I resent having to go to Mesquite for adult entertainment.

  • Dennis September 13, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    Their is a gun range at the fairgrounds. Go there and let us live in peace & quiet.

    • Dennis September 13, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      Sorry there not their

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