ST. GEORGE- Cutting a ribbon Wednesday morning marked the completion of a new trail in St. George and is also the culmination of one man’s decade-long goal.
City officials, police, cycling enthusiasts and others gathered at Temple Springs Nature Park for the official opening of the namesake trail that winds its way up the hillside.
The new trail serves as a link between St. George Boulevard and the Red Cliffs Parkway and offers panoramic views of downtown St. George. Parts of the trail also cross small creeks known as Temple Springs, from which the park and trail get their name. These springs were originally used to supply water to the St. George Utah Temple grounds.
“The trail winds through the original springs, so you can actually see where the water that fed the original temple came from,” said Shane Moore, director of recreation services at St. George.
Moore added that he thinks the trail is unique for a metro area because it features hanging gardens, great views and a natural riverfront area.
While addressing those gathered for the grand opening, Moore shared how the idea for the runway came from retired St. George police officer Ivor Fuller.
“It’s really the culmination of an officer coming down here and realizing this was supposed to be a city park,” Moore said. “Without him, this track would never have happened.”
The park itself is located on the south side of a parking lot along Red Hills Parkway, across from the St. George Energy Services building. St. George Mayor Michele Randall said it was once an area overgrown with brush, full of trash, was a place where the homeless camped out and has also become a source of activity criminals.
“One person’s idea changed the whole landscape,” Randall said of Fuller’s impact on the park and the trail.
When it was Fuller’s turn to address the crowd, he shared credit with city officials and former police comrades who helped make his goal for the property a reality.
“Nobody ever said it was going to be too difficult,” Fuller said, adding that the trail will serve downtown residents and also provide a safe route for cyclists and pedestrians in general. “It’s something that anyone can use. It’s something that this city stands for – 100% about bonding. … It can be a place of kindness and relationships.
Fuller, who retired last year after 21 years with the St. George Police Department, told media that he’d had the idea for a park and trail there for more than 10 years. The place was constantly messy and infected with criminal activity, he said, and over time he wanted to create something that would help remove this negative influence.
From there, Fuller took his idea to his fellow police officers and then to the city where a collaborative effort to create the park and trail took shape.
“It was a collective effort by everyone in the city to bring about positive change,” he said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the city and what they’ve accomplished here.”
As for the official opening of the trail itself, Fuller said he felt ecstatic.
“It’s absolutely amazing and I believe there’s nothing quite like it nearby,” he said.
The first phase of the park and trail project cost the city about $700,000, Moore said. Future plans involve the installation of pavilions, a picnic area and toilets.
Copyright St.George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.