New park with bigger-than-average playground opens in Little Valley

Children play on the playground equipment at the newly opened Crimson Ridge Park in the Little Valley area of St. George, Utah, Jan. 31, 2019 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A brand new city park that doubles as a detention basin officially opened in St. George Monday afternoon.

Community members gather for the opening of Crimson Ridge Park in the Little Valley area of St. George, Utah, Jan. 31, 2019 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

A large crowd gathered at the new Crimson Ridge Park on the corner of 3100 East and Crimson Ridge Drive for a dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting, ushering in a legion of kids eager to put the park’s bigger-than-average playground to test.

“I think the park turned out really well,” said Mark Goble, a landscape architect for the city of St. George who headed the Crimson Ridge project.

The new park includes a large, full-featured play area complete with swings, merry-go-rounds, slides and more. Resilient surfacing is installed on the ground, softening falls that would otherwise scrape a knee.

Directly adjacent to the playground are restroom facilities and a pavilion filled with picnic tables. The facilities and parking lot are flanked by a sprawling green lawn to the west.

The park is nestled in an area of new development, falling within the rapidly expanding Little Valley area in the city’s eastern end.

“It’s nice. It kind of finishes off the neighborhood,” said Colter Cottam, one of the area’s many recent move-ins who was at the park for the dedication ceremony with his wife, Aimee, and their children.

Children play on the playground equipment at the newly opened Crimson Ridge Park in the Little Valley area of St. George, Utah, Jan. 31, 2019 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Aimee Cottam said the new park is within walking distance of their home.

Originally envisioned by the area’s developers, the park fills a need for open space in an area packed with medium- and high-density housing.

“We try and have a neighborhood park like this every half-mile, and obviously this place is booming, and the way they’re putting together houses with smaller and smaller backyards, it’s become a need,” St. George Leisure Services Director Shane McAfee told St. George News.

In addition to its function as a neighborhood gathering-place, Goble explained that the park serves an important alternate purpose.

“This is a detention basin,” he said. “That’s why a lot of it is down in a hole, because when we have big rain events in the neighborhood, this is where the water fills up the detention and then safely leaves the site.”

The large dip in the park could also conceivably serve as an ideal field on which to play soccer or Ultimate Frisbee, among other sports. The park otherwise lacks a dedicated sports court, a deliberate decision on the part of the park’s designers after hearing input from area neighbors and the general public who said they would prefer a larger playground.

The newly opened Crimson Ridge Park in the Little Valley area includes an expansive lawn, St. George, Utah, Jan. 31, 2019 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

“This is a bigger playground than a normal neighborhood park would have,” Goble said.

The treehouse-themed play area left plenty of room for the scores of children to play all at once at Monday’s ribbon-cutting.

During the dedication ceremony, city officials thanked the community for their part in making Crimson Ridge Park a reality.

“This is your park, you own it, you bought it, thank you very much,” Mayor Jon Pike said. “It’s your tax dollars, your impact fees. That’s what paid for this park.”

The park was completed within budget at a cost of approximately $1.1 million, St. George Communications Director David Cordero said.

Pike also implored the gathered crowd to take proper care of the park’s facilities.

“If you see someone damaging your park, say something so that we can stop that,” Pike said, as he acknowledged the presence of Police Chief Richard Farnsworth. “Let’s be good shepherds, good stewards, good watchdogs, over this park.”

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Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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