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Op-ed: Much-maligned Rose Park is really in full bloom

By Dan Strong

First Published Jun 06 2014 04:52 pm • Last Updated Jun 06 2014 04:52 pm

With beautiful tree-lined streets, classic red-brick houses, a youthful and diverse community, easy access to the pristine Jordan River Trail, proximity to downtown Salt Lake and all major freeways, and a rush of new development along the North Temple Corridor, Rose Park might just be Salt Lake City’s best neighborhood. Its residents have known this for years, but it remains, to the rest of the world, a well-kept secret.

Pieces like ("Bring Back Rose Park," May 19) reflect long-held misconceptions about Rose Park: that it is a run-down neighborhood littered with "abandoned cars" and "weeds so high you can’t see the fences." When residents of Rose Park hear people say things like that, we have to wonder if they have ever even been to our neighborhood. It’s very possible they haven’t. People often refer to everything west of the freeway in Salt Lake City as "Rose Park," but Rose Park actually covers only the area North of 600 North, from I-15 to Redwood Road.

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Drive though that neighborhood and you’ll see why most people love living here. Looking out my front window this morning, I saw children playing games in the street, cyclists returning from a ride on the trail, my neighbor out mowing his lawn, and a young family moving in a few houses down. It looked to me like the opening scene of a Steven Spielberg movie. It looked like America.

There is data to back up this idyllic scene. Rose Park’s crime rate is well below average for Salt Lake City. Our neighborhood is diverse and increasingly young, with recent real estate trends showing many young professionals purchasing homes in the area. And why not? Rose Park is home to two public golf courses, its own library, a large community garden, and several parks bordering the beautiful Jordan River, with a new public track and exercise park on the way next year. It has everything one could want in a Salt Lake neighborhood, and for now at least, it’s affordable.

Those who move here find a welcoming and active community. Rose Park residents care about their neighborhood, as they demonstrate by participating in numerous community events throughout the year. In the month of May alone, Rose Park played host to a well-attended community festival, the Lions Club Breakfast, a neighborhood barbecue in Riverside Park, and a clean-up of the 600 North overpass. Rose Park Community Council meetings are regularly among the best attended in Salt Lake City. Information about upcoming events can be found on Rose Park Community Council’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/RoseParkCommunityCouncil).

Rose Park is a great place to live, and it’s only getting better. We invite anyone who believes differently to come visit. We know you’ll love it.

Dan Strong wrote this on behalf of the Rose Park Community Council.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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