Washington residents get a preview of incoming ‘skills and challenge park’ during service project

Members of the community got a preview of a new city park located by the Hell Hole trailhead during a volunteer service project Monday.

The new park, which is attached to a nearby portion of the Sienna Hills development presently under construction, is designed to be a “challenge and skills park” that can be used by people of all ages, Washington City Councilman Troy Belliston said.

The park, which has yet to be named, has a smaller footprint than other parks, such as the larger Shooting Star Park that opened earlier this month. However, the smaller area lent to the creation of a park with equipment people may associate with the program American Ninja Warrior and similar shows.

The park is laid out as a challenge course and may also feature timers for those wanting to see how long it takes to complete it.

Kyle Paisley of Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Land Administration, which owns the land where Sienna Hills development has been built, said they wanted to expand the exercise opportunities from the area trail system and bring that into Sienna Hills. SITLA has worked with Washington City on this project and many others.

“Really, this is a park that meets everyone’s needs, from high intensity to lower intensity use,” Paisley said.

While the metal frames of the some the park equipment were set up Monday, accompanying panels and other features were attached and screwed into place by city parks department staff and volunteers that included of a handful of families.

Parents coached their younger children on how to use certain power tools while city employees helped others on various pieces of equipment. Some put together a climbing wall while others built picnic tables.

Some of the children also took early advantage of the tube slides at the park, which they told their parents were “very fast.”

Currently the surface of the park is still blanketed in dirt, but it will soon have a rubberized surface used in other city parks.

Among the volunteers was Lisa McKnight and her adult son Daniel. She said they recently moved to St. George from California and regularly engage in volunteer activities. When she found out about the park service project over social media, she and Daniel decided to participate.

McKnight said her son is intellectually disabled, and volunteering helps provide a “good experience for him and to meet new people and get involved in the community.”

The new skills and challenge park is anticipated to be completed within a month’s time.

The park is located next to the Hell Hole trailhead, directly south of the Washington Parkway-Telegraph Street intersection.

Belliston recently noted that, prior to the Shooting Star Park in the Washington Fields area, Washington City hasn’t built a new park for about four years.

It was also recently noted during a city council candidate forum that the majority of Washington City’s parks are located north of the Virgin River, while a much smaller number exist south of the river.