From an aerial glance of Provo, the city looks mostly like tiny apartment complexes and buildings squeezed into limited square footage, but a closer look reveals grassy fields with pavilions and other amenities.
The parks in Provo offer places for social gatherings and outdoor recreation and range from neighborhood corners equipped with jungle gyms to day-trip water parks.
“The parks in Provo are better than others I’ve seen because the upkeep is really good,” said Jeff Harmon, a senior from Provo studying Geography. “Others have a lot of trash, but parks here are well-maintained.”
Provo City seeks cleanliness as one of the main objectives for its parks. According to Doug Robins, Park Divisions Director, the city makes maintenance a priority.
“One of the most important criteria for serving our community is cleanliness,” Robins said. “Restrooms are included in that, but we also focus on pruning and mowing to keep the parks clean.”
The parks also offer spaces for people to play. Harmon appreciates parks throughout the city for the wide variety of activities they support.
“There’s space to do multiple things without having to go to lots of different locations,” he said. “You can play frisbee, then you can have a picnic, then you can relax and you can stay in one place the whole time.”
Kiwanis Park, Joaquin Park and Memorial Park fall in this category. They are all within a mile of campus and have large fields and several pavilions.
The Provo City Parks and Recreation Department maintains more than 40 parks throughout the city, including trailheads and picnic areas. They focus on serving the community and providing areas for gatherings, a task which, for Provo parks, comes naturally.
“We are blessed with geological resources that other communities don’t enjoy,” Robins said. “The Wasatch Range, Utah Lake and Provo Canyon open up a lot of outdoor activities.”
This wilderness advantage provides natural spaces for other activities in parks up Provo Canyon.
“Some of our parks don’t have grass, but they have great opportunities for equestrian and hiking,” Robins said. “We also have trailheads at the mouth of each of the canyons.”
Vivian, Nunns and Canyon Glenn Parks are up Provo Canyon. They are a twenty minute drive from campus and require no admission.
Beyond the parks for recreational activities or camping, some Provo parks also have more structured uses, including water parks. City residents looking for a way to cool off in the summer need to search no further than Seven Peaks Water Park.
Bethany Walker, a senior from Orlando, Fla. studying Neuroscience said Seven Peaks, even compared to water parks from her oceanside home, still presents a fun day-trip option.
“There are decently sized slides, good service and tube rentals, and it’s not a bad price,” she said.
Seven Peaks has 16 waterslides, a wave pool and a lazy river. A day pass costs $24.95 and other promotions are available.
“There should be enough parks so everyone can walk to one wherever they live,” Harmon said. “It creates a healthier community and brings unification.”