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There is hope for Pioneer Park!
The crowd that showed up last Saturday for the first Downtown Farmers Market of the season, along with the park's official "Grand Reopening" was impressive. It sent a positive signal that the general citizenry is ready to reclaim the park.
The recently completed million-dollar facelift that includes a jogging track and pet area is nice. It gives the ten-acre plot a more pleasant appearance and feel. But, for half a century and more, the historic square has been anything but an appealing place to lounge, play and relax. So transforming it from a haven for drunks, derelicts and drug dealers to an attractive gathering place for families and others won't be easy.
The announced strategy of Salt Lake City leaders is to bring more events, and as a result, more people to the park. But will an increased presence of the clean-cut masses discourage criminal elements from using the park for their nefarious dealings? And what of the continued presence of the relatively harmless, yet oft times intimidating homeless? Will mothers with children in strollers feel comfortable in what some view as a threatening setting?
Based on the effort being made, KSL believes it is possible. While many challenges remain, there is indeed hope for Pioneer Park.