Orem has taken great effort to start upgrading parks throughout the city. Westmore is next and that is a very good thing.
According to Kena Mathews, Community Services manager, the park adjacent to Westmore Elementary School at 1050 S. Main St. is receiving a makeover with help from the city’s Community Development Block Grant.
“Residents picked out of three choices for a new playground,” Mathews said. “This playground has a covering.”
Mathews said many of the newer playgrounds are coming with coverings to protect from the summer heat and sun.
The park is tucked away on the north side of the school. It has a pavilion, bathroom and play areas. It is smaller than many of the city parks but is widely used.
Mathews said the CDBG money helped lower income neighborhoods spruce up their parks and add new amenities.
Over the past few years, Orem has revitalized the Sharon and Geneva parks, and now it’s Westmore’s turn. Mathews said next year the city will be back at Sharon Park with a new playground.
Scera Park, one of the largest in the city, has had an old and dangerous playground taken down and a new larger playground will be put in its place.
When it comes to Westmore, Mathews is hoping the city sees the same positive experiences it has from the other parks.
“What we’ve seen in other parks is less crime and more usage of the facilities,” Mathews said.
Neighborhoods that benefit from the CDBG monies for parks must be in the lower income range. In the case of Westmore, 51% of the neighborhood earns less than 80% of the median Orem income. That is why Westmore qualifies for the grants.
Orem has 21 parks, with many of them adjacent to elementary schools. It is the intent of the city to have a park within a half mile, if at all possible, from homes and multi-family units.