Our View: Plan for the future, expand the city's splash park
July 22, 2020
Government budgets are going to be tight in the foreseeable future, as impacts from a struggling minerals industry and continued fallout from the global pandemic cause havoc for even the most conservative budgets.
While it may be a few years before everything returns to normal, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be looking to the future. We should look ahead and plan for certain expansions that would pay dividends to Green River businesses for years to come.
The most cost-effective project to do this is an expansion on the city’s splash park at Evers Park. Anyone driving by the park on a warm summer day will see dozens of children and their families enjoying the park -- taking picnic lunches and otherwise making a fun afternoon out of the visit.
Land for the expansion is already available as the park can easily be doubled in size without impact other park uses. Years ago, the Green River City Council openly discussed an expansion of the splash park, though action was never taken. While the city looks to focus on infrastructure needs such as the wastewater treatment plant and repairing miles of streets, finding the money to expand the splash park would provide a moderate boost to the city’s economy. For travelers looking for a stop on their journey to stretch their legs, the splash park makes perfect sense for families with children. Within Sweetwater County, an expanded splash park may provide a lure to bring families from Rock Springs to the area, something that has always been a challenge for Green River.
The area’s restaurants, especially the fast food options, would certainly benefit as family outings at Evers Park often involve food.
A push to market local businesses at the park through both Green River Main Street and the Green River Chamber of Commerce at the park, perhaps through a yearly fundraiser that allows businesses to sponsor certain features at the splash park, would help bring awareness to the unique businesses the city has.
It may be a long time before we can say everything is back to normal in Sweetwater County, but with proper planning the can better position itself when that ultimately happens. An expansion at the splash park would prove to be an attractive jewel in Green River’s recreational crown.