WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Trailhead Park in West Valley wasn’t a place many families felt comfortable going to, however, that could change after hundreds of volunteers showed up to clean the place.
It was part of West Valley’s Day of Service summer kickoff.
Hard work doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal when you’re benefiting from the work. That’s what got Erick Garcia got out of bed and to the park early Saturday morning, but he said knowing others will also benefit is what really got him going.
“There’s something noble about working in the park, you know, when you’re working for your community,” he said. “The sweat was worth it.”
Trailhead Park in West Valley City used to not look so good. Kerri Matteson said she wasn’t impressed with it the last time she visited.
“It was unpleasant,” she said. “We actually bring our kids over here to do parties and stuff, and it’s been a chaotic mess.”
When she heard the city was looking for volunteers to help clean it, Matteson decided to sign up. She also brought along her 6-year-old son.
“I think it’s important to learn service at a young age,” she said. “That way they get away from the TV and learn how to do a community service.”
That’s what the project was all about — service.
Hundreds of volunteers came to the park to make West Valley the best it can be.
“Some people have a stigma against the city, but I don’t,” said Garcia. “I love being here. I love it. It’s such a huge multicultural community.”
Pride like his was exactly what the city meant when they included the word in its slogan: Unity, Pride, and Progress.
“When you come out and you rake the leaves in the park and clean up the playground, it really does become your park. We’ve seen the residents react positively to that and we are so proud,” said Nicole Cottle who is the assistant city manager of West Valley City.
Overall, this is called the My Hometown project.
West Valley City leaders have projects planned throughout the city on every other Saturday through the summer.
Volunteers will be needed to help clean up some areas.
“We just come out here and make the park look good — edge, trim, mow. It’s nice,” said Robert Mutchleo, who lives in West Valley and volunteered at the park Saturday morning.
It’s amazing what a little love, some new wood chips and fresh paint can do to place.
“It looks great,” said Matteson.
It was hard work for volunteers, but it wasn’t just the park that benefitted from it all.
“It ties people to their land, ties people to the city, ties people to the community,” said Garcia. “Then you get to know your neighbors and get to know your neighborhood as a whole. Yeah, I love West Valley.”