Just off the I-15 and U.S. Highway 6 interchange in Spanish Fork, nestled among a plethora of businesses, and along the edges an entire shopping center, lies 10 acres of beautifully landscaped, and carefully constructed community space plainly dubbed North Park.

Though the park is now a fixture in the area with amenities for all ages, it wasn’t always that way. Plans to reconstruct the park while retail development took place faltered with an economic downturn, leaving the original park area decimated in 2007, and the city’s hopes for a quick rebuild stalled.

"The razing of that park was a controversial issue," said then-Spanish Fork assistant city manager Seth Perrins in a Daily Herald article from Dec. 2009. "The intent all along was to replace the park with something better, but the longer that that park was not there, the more negative sentiment there was about what we had done."

That’s when the city took things into their own hands, and with $4 million approved from city reserves to be recouped through eventual sales tax revenue, construction was soon underway.

The original North Park once housed two ball diamonds, a pond, walking trails and open spaces. Seeking ways for the area to be improved, the new park opened in fall of 2010, featuring one of Utah County’s first splash pads, as well as multiple play structures, enclosed pavilions, an amphitheater-style plaza, a gazebo, plenty of shaded areas, green space and walking trails, ultimately creating a space even more carefully adapted to a growing and thriving community.

“Not only we as the city, but also residents view North Park as kind of a showcase park,” said Spanish Fork Public Information Officer and Management Analyst Scott Aylett of the re-imagined park. “It’s at the gateway to the community and we take a lot of pride in it. … Residents really love the park, they love the amenities, and generally speaking, we kind of see it as an upgrade over the park that was originally there.”

Though it’s been almost exactly nine years since the park’s grand re-opening, that hasn’t led to a decrease in its public use and popularity.

With that in mind, here are 10 great things worth checking out at North Park in Spanish Fork.

— By Kari Kenner, Daily Herald

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