Herman Franks Park is named after baseball legend and native-Utahn, Herman Franks. Its main attractors include three baseball diamonds and a dog park affixed between the fields. Although the park is well used, the baseball fields lay empty in the off-season. This has invited unwanted activities as the park appears empty at times. Emigration Creek flows underneath the park. The creek was dubbed a nuisance by city planners during 20th Century urbanization of the Salt Lake Valley.
With support from Bockholt Landscape Architecture and the Franks Family Foundation, the Seven Canyons Trust crafted a community-based design vision to uncover over 1,000 feet of Emigration Creek, activating the perimeter of the park between the baseball diamonds and surrounding roads. This restorative addition will create a beautiful backdrop for the current uses at the park, without disrupting them in any way.
In 2015, Westminster College Environmental Studies students surveyed the hydrology of Emigration Creek. They found the creek became lost underground right outside campus at Wilson Avenue. Following the conduit, students traced the creek underneath houses, parking lots, roads, and a green space. Students envisioned the benefits of bringing Emigration Creek to the surface within this green space, Herman Franks Park, ranging from improving water quality to research opportunities.
The Seven Canyons Trust was selected for Bockholt Landscape Architecture’s quarterly pro bono technical assistance program. The firm aided in crafting a community-based design vision. Two community design charrettes engaged nearly 100 community members to gather thoughts, ideas, and visions.
The first workshop focused on larger themes. Improving water quality was voted as the number one consideration, followed by the creation of a community amenity in second, and enhancement of wildlife habitat in third. The second workshop gathered feedback on two design concepts. Feedback from this workshop was used to generate a community-based preferred design. The Herman Franks Park Daylighting Project Master Plan is coming Fall 2017.