Skip to main content

West Valley City Journal

City parks and staff members receive five statewide awards

Jun 06, 2024 10:42AM ● By Tom Haraldsen

West Valley parks employees and volunteers received five awards from the Utah Recreation and Parks Association.

The Utah Recreation and Parks Association has presented five awards to the West Valley Parks Department. URPA’s LeeAnn Powell introduced the winners to the city council on May 7.

Longtime employee Nancy Day was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. She has worked in public service in recreation programs for 37 years and just recently retired as West Valley City’s Director of Parks and Recreation. Powell said in that role, Day oversaw the fitness center, 30 city parks, two golf courses, a senior recreation center, a cultural arts center and a community theater. She was also praised for her work on behalf of veterans and was instrumental in West Valley City receiving the Department of Defense Freedom Award.

Day and her husband Joe were also honored together, as the URPA created the Nancy and Joe Day Professional Development Scholarship. Powell said the scholarship, honoring Joe as well for his many years of working side-by-side with Nancy on projects, serves “as a fitting tribute to a leader whose legacy inspires parks and recreation professionals.” It will be awarded annually by the association.

The Centennial Bike Park was awarded as Outstanding Facility in Class III. On the northwest corner of the Centennial Sports Park, the bike park was in development for over 10 years next to the adjacent skate park. It was officially opened last September and has various  lines for bikers with different capabilities, from beginner to advanced. They include a start hill, banked turns, jump lines, pump tracks, bridges and more.

Van DeWitt of the Micro Crawler Club was awarded as Outstanding Advocate/Volunteer for his vision of planning, constructing and advocating for the West Valley City R.C. Crawler Park. Powell said he volunteered countless hours “in meticulous groundwork, shaping rocks and obstacles” for the scaled crawler trucks that use the course. She said “it has become a haven for families, couples and cross-generational individuals who may not engage in traditional sports, providing them with accessible outdoor space.”

The R.C. Crawler Park was also honored for its uniqueness, being one of the first public parks dedicated exclusively to remote controlled vehicles. Its development turned over 8,400 square feet of previously unused and non-programmable property into a public use venue. It now attracts visitors statewide for its graded steps, inclines, tires, stumps, valleys, rock mounds and tunnels. An addition of an ADA paved path also adds to the accessibility of the park.λ