The Parks Division Tree Crew is currently working with the Storm Water Department along the Provo River to remove trees that are fallen or not stable to prevent flooding during spring run off season. Several dead trees have been pulled out of the river and are being removed by these two departments as quickly as possible.
The Tree Crew also removed unsafe tire swings from one large tree and cut off the limbs the swings were hanging from. The tree limbs were removed because they’ve had to remove the swings several times in the past. The location of this tree is south of Geneva Road. They are not removing this tree.
The swings and tires that were hung from the tree do not meet accepted safety standards. To insure the safety of Provo residents all playground equipment on city property must meet ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards. Parks has several staff members who are Certified Playground Safety Inspectors who inspect all of our playgrounds each month and produce a written report to help prevent serious head or neck injuries.
A swing must have a soft landing surface under it twice the distance of the swing chains which in this case with the long chains would be around 30 feet in each direction. The thickness of the fall zone under the swing must be sufficient to prevent head or neck trauma from the highest point of the swing. At least two feet of the soft fall wood surfacing that is used in most of our playgrounds would be needed to meet the required impact tolerances for a swing connected to such a long chain. Other features that must meet standards include, the weight rating of the chains and connectors, swing attachments, swing seats, protrusions which can cause strangulation hazards from strings on clothes and limb or head entrapments. There are also other obstacles such as tree stumps and rocks in that area that could cause serious head injury. It is not our intention to prevent people from having fun, but we do have a responsibility to do everything we can to keep them safe.
Parks is currently working with the Neighborhood Chair Scott Yourgensen on a plan to add safe playground and park features to this area along the Provo River Trail. He is working with the City Council on special Neighborhood Grants that could fund the project.
In addition to these improvements is the Provo River Trail Project which is improving the trail itself along 3 miles of the Provo River. This is the first project being funded by RAP taxes. The plans for these trail enhancements are near completion and the construction phase expected to begin this summer. A public meeting was held March 16, 2017 where plans for the improvements were displayed.
We do apologize for removing the swings, but felt it was the responsible thing to do. Our goal as always is to provide a safe, clean and beautiful parks and trials for all who visit them.