TOOELE — Residents here will soon have a new place to picnic, play and exercise unlike any other in the city.
"It's different than any other park we have in Tooele. Most of our parks have a sports activity being played. This one will be more or less a picnic, playground, fitness park," said Kathy Bell, Tooele City Parks and Recreation director.
It also will be Tooele's first nature park, the first park on the northeast side of town and the first one to have a unique electronic playground game system.
Located just north of Skyline Drive between 7th Street and Bevan Way, the 12.4-acre parcel of land almost became a housing development. But a settlement with Rocky Mountain Power over the company's Mona to Oquirrh transmission line provided the seed money to develop the $1.3 million Skyline Nature Park.
"(The power company) gave Tooele City $500,000 to build the park," Bell explained. The rest of the money was paid for out of park impact fees and the parks, arts and recreation tax.
Construction on the park began in September, when the city developed just more than an acre for a pavilion, restroom, picnic and playground area. Crews also built a walking, jogging, biking trail on the outside of the park. The rest of the park will be left in its natural state.
It will also feature an outdoor workout system and a NEOS Playground System.
NEOS is an electronic playground game system. "(It's a) circle of bars that come up. On each bar, a light will be attached to it. There will be different games that you can play on this, and you can break into teams," Bell explained.
Bell said the city needs the park, and she thinks residents will enjoy it. "This will provide a place for people to come, and they'll be safe jogging, walking, biking," she said. "It will just be a nice place to come and picnic with their families, play (and/or) workout."
If construction remains on schedule, the park's grand opening should happen around June 1.
Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc