OUTDOORS & RECREATION

Taufer Park set to be cleaned up, renovated after years of complaints

Mar 18, 2024, 5:42 PM | Updated: Mar 19, 2024, 6:33 am

SALT LAKE CITY — A city park in central Salt Lake City is getting a makeover after years of residents’ complaints of issues that made the area feel unsafe.

“It’s been a problem in the neighborhood for quite a while,” said Central City Neighborhood Council Chair Rhianna Riggs.

Riggs said that Taufer Park on 680 S. 300 East has been less than welcoming to families for years.

“(The park) is approximately two blocks away from the Geraldine E. King Women’s Resource Center, and over the years, it has declined and turned into a hotspot for crime and drugs, and not really a place where kids and families feel safe and want to play,” she said. “You have to watch out for needles, human waste, lots of trash.”

And with a record number of families moving into the area, the city wants to make the neighborhood safer for everyone to enjoy and use.

“One of our goals with the neighborhood council this year is to create more safe spaces for families,” Riggs said.

Taufer Park will undergo a complete redesign. The Salt Lake City Department of Public Lands invites community members to share their thoughts on park design at the Central City Recreation Center on Monday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The renovation will be funded by Salt Lake City’s Parks, Trails, and Open Space General Obligation Bond, which passed in 2022. The nonprofit, KABOOM!, Delta Airlines, and the Utah Jazz will pay for the new playground equipment. The park’s ground cover will also be replaced.

“Getting new equipment and a new design for this park is really going to be a game changer for the neighborhood,” Riggs said.

Riggs said the playground equipment will be installed by anyone who can volunteer to help, starting at the end of May and continuing into June. Phase two, the redesigning of the greenspace, is set for 2025.

The Taufer Park playground equipment that's set to be removed in late May.

The Taufer Park playground equipment that’s set to be removed in late May. (Shelby Lofton, KSL TV)

The Public Lands Department told KSL that Salt Lake City’s Mayor’s Office will work with police and community groups to keep the new space clean.

“We get a lot of overflow, a lot of overnight camping, and a lot of drug use,” Riggs said. “The police squad located in the Geraldine E. King Resource Center has been a huge help, patrolling and enforcing some of the overnight camping issues that we’re seeing.”

Riggs said with enough community input, the park can be transformed for the better.

“Hopefully, it will help kids and families have a safe and fun place to play and just come together as a community,” she said.

The nearby Richmond Park is also scheduled to be redesigned next year.

You can take this survey if you wish to give input about Taufer Park’s playground.

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Taufer Park set to be cleaned up, renovated after years of complaints