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The $2.1 million price tag on newly opened Quarry Bend Park in Sandy doesn't include labor costs for planting 800 trees and shrubs scattered throughout.
That's because Sandy residents and local Boy Scout troops pitched in to plant maples, firs and other trees and shrubs around the two softball fields and pavilion on the 8-acre site.
"It was amazing," park architect Scott Van Dyke said. "They had it done in three hours."
More than 100 volunteers gathered in gloomy weather on a recent Saturday to plant 200 trees and 600 shrubs - a turnout city recreation manager Kevin Bybee expected for better weather, he said.
The park is part of a larger development project complete with new condominiums and a shopping center anchored by Lowe's and Wal-Mart. Employees for those retailers and residents in the condos helped in the effort, Bybee said, a testament to the community spirit park planners hoped for.
Developers hope the park's name quickly replaces what the former quarry used to be known as - "the gravel pit."
City planners organized the planting exercise around Sandy's Pride Day, an annual event in which residents typically help out on a variety of projects throughout the city, Bybee said. The idea came when planners realized they were over budget on the park.
"We had to find ways to cut costs," Bybee said. "The residents here in Sandy are always willing to help out."
All told, the volunteer planting effort saved the city $30,000 in labor costs, Bybee said.
Without the free labor, Bybee said, the city may have held off on planting trees. As it stands, the fully planted park is open to people dropping by but will not begin organized activities until spring, Bybee said.
Two softball fields will accommodate men's and women's leagues. But batters be warned: Bring sunglasses, because the home plates on both fields face the setting sun.
Van Dyke, with Salt Lake City-based firm Allred, Soffee, Wilkonson and Nichols, said he would rather batters face east, like at Franklin Covey Field, where the Salt Lake Bees play, but space considerations made that impossible.
Spectators at the park will get a unique view of the action, as the bleachers behind home plate sit a good 4 feet above the field. The raised view is a result of a unique attribute of the park, Van Dyke said. The park serves as a storm-water retention basin, allowing as much as 6 acre-feet of water to collect in the outfields during big downpours.
"If you talk to [the] parks [department], it's a park," Van Dyke said. "If you talk to [the] public utilities [department], it's a retention basin."
Residents have been known to pitch in to plant trees in parks, too, said Wayne Johnson, park operations director for Salt Lake County. That saves cities an average of $200 in planting costs per tree, he said.
The key to organizing such an effort, Johnson said, is knowing when to schedule it.
"I find Arbor Day's a good day," he said.
Quarry Bend Park
* Where: 9020 S. Quarry Bend Parkway (1000 East)
* Project cost: $2.1 million
* Construction started: March 5
* Opened: Oct. 16
* Size: 8 acres
* Plant life: 200 trees, 600 shrubs
* Amenities: 2 softball fields with scoreboards, outdoor pavilion, restrooms, playground, walking path