West Point city crews bulldoze overgrown nature park; redevelopment plan in the works

Posted at 8:13 PM, Mar 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-30 22:13:22-04

WEST POINT, Utah -- West Point city crews began their work bulldozing trees in a nature park Monday afternoon.

The city hopes to redevelop the area after the 5-acre park, located next to West Point Elementary, fell into disarray.

Since 1996, the park was maintained by teachers and students at the neighboring elementary school. It was used on a regular basis as an outdoor classroom.

But according to the Davis County School District it became too much of a challenge to care for and became overgrown with vegetation. So on March 17 the city, with support from the school district, voted to tear it down.

Some residents think the redevelopment is a good idea saying the park has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and rats.

Other residents say the park was a unique treasure and the decision to demolish it was rushed and it should have been more publicized.

"People reached out to the council and said, ‘hey is there any way we can just slow down before we go ahead and demo it lets get a plan, let's know what's going to happen and go from there without destroying it beforehand,’" said resident Joelle Caruso.

Kyle Laws, West Point City Manager said the council received calls from one or two residents asking to delay the decision.

“They also received multiple calls from residents supporting them and asking for them not to give into the pressure of the few that are opposed to the decision to clear it," Laws said.

Not every tree in the park will be knocked down.

Crews tied ribbons around 20 trees that they would like to save and work into the final plan for the area.

A portion of the park will be turned into a parking lot. The city has not made final plans on what to do with the remaining portion of the property.

Officials say they plan to work with residents to come up with a plan that most people will be pleased with.

There is no time frame when that will happen.