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PUT AWAY YOUR TOYS: Sunday brought perfect weather for hot-air ballooning over the Old Mendon Highway -- but when it's over, you still have to pack up. / Photo by Nancy Williams

Today's word on journalism

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"Paranoia means having all the facts."

--William S. Burroughs, Beat Generation writer (1914-1997)

Hyde Park has big plans for Lion's Park

By Natalie Cook

September 25, 2006 HYDE PARK -- A newly paved footpath winds into the overhanging trees and up the hill of Lion's Park on the east side of Hyde Park. Though the park itself is more than 40 years old, many new developments have been taking place lately.

"It started out as a frog pond, nothing more than a mud hole kids liked to play in," said Charles Wheeler, city council member.

The area was initially a place where run-off collected in a sunken area where the parking lot now sits. Wheeler has overseen the restoration and improvement efforts Hyde Park has put into the city's third park.

"Back in the '60s, kids were already playing there, so the local Lion's Club decided to put some toys in to make it a little nicer ," Wheeler said.

The park began falling into disrepair and the restrooms were vandalized six years ago. According to Wheeler, that's when the city council decided they had better do something. The metal park equipment of the 1960s contrasts with the brand new green plastic slides that sit accross the path from one another. A new restroom, parking lot and footpath are just a few of the most recent projects.

The park contines to be an ongoing project and the city anticipates they will spend $1.5 million before they are through with their plans. Lion's Park is currently 3.5 acres, but plans for expansion will make it a grand 12.5-acre recreational area complete with a one-mile walking path and an ampitheatre. The funding comes from a land trade with Cache County over an area near the ice arena.

The community has been getting involved, too. Several Eagle Scouts have done projects there and local citizens helped plant on Arbor Day. To the citizens involved in the restoration of Lion's Park, it is not just another park, but holds a sense of nostalgia and pride.


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