Ask Me Anything w/ Parks & Recreation

Utah Valley Mag copy
Photo by Utah Valley Magazine

Once a month I get the opportunity to sit down and answer any question you throw at me. The questions through the year have ranged from what I do each day as the Mayor to what I’m doing to promote National Dog Day (it’s August 26 this year by the way).

Recently I’ve started inviting others in the city to help with promoting certain projects we’re working on. Next Monday, May 1 at 11:00 am I’ve asked our Parks and Recreation Department Director, Scott Henderson and Assistant Director, Doug Robins to help answer some of your burning questions.

We want to talk about the recent concern of Utah County pulling out of the agreement with with City over Peaks Ice Arena. I’m sure we can chat about RAP dollars, rope swings, and the property the City purchased to improve the Provo River Trail.

To participate you need to go to my personal Facebook page where I’ll start a live broadcast. Wait until the feed starts but as soon as it does, feel free to Ask Me Anything.

I look forward to the discussion and hope you’ll join us.

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Join us for a Youth Pow Wow

pow wow poster 2 updated

This Saturday, April 29 is the Provo City School District’s Running Strong Youth Powwow. This is a FREE family event at Provo High School Gym from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. It is NOT a set program so you can come and go as your please. This is the school district’s first community cultural outreach activity and will be very educational in regards to learning about American Indian/Alaskan Native cultures.
Aside from the actual Powwow, there will be:
  • Utah colleges there to talk to students and hand out free swag
  • Educational booths to learn more about the Native American Culture
  • Cub and Boy Scouts can pass off American Indian Lore requirements just by attending
  • Navajo Tacos will be for sell starting at 12:00 p.m., as well as Navajo herbal tea (caffeine free)
  • KUED is handing out free books to all the kids, so make sure you stop by and see them!
  • We also have lesson plans and educational DVD’s for teachers
  • There will be opportunities for everyone to win prizes. We have gift cards, books, movies, socks, American Indian jewelry and more to give away!

Plus…we have some cool guest coming that we are really excited about!

  • Billy Mills, Olympic Gold Medalist and only person in the Northern Hemisphere to ever win the 10,000 Meter Run (
  • Gary Farmer, prominent Native American Actor
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Sign up for the Provo Bike Challenge!

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May is National Bike Month. If you’ve been looking for a good reason to park your car and take your bike instead – this is it! Monday, May 1, 2017 through Wednesday, May 31, 2017 is the third annual Provo Bike Challenge. Whether you are a current bicyclist or a new rider this event is for you!

Make every day count

When days are long – ride for fun, to work, any time you can! This event is an easy way to challenge yourself, colleagues, and the Provo community to ride more. Participants are asked to record their daily/weekly miles ridden (using the Strava app) and points will be awarded throughout the challenge. They are awarded in the following two ways:

  1. 20 points are awarded for each day you ride at least 1 mile
  2. 1 point is awarded each mile ridden

Miles must be logged to the day they were ridden and rides can be logged at anytime over the month but must be logged or synced by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

Prizes and Awards

All participants who live, work, or go to school in Provo are eligible for prizes and awards. Prize winners will be randomly selected each week for participation and award winners will be announced at the end of the challenge. Those who finish at the top of their category will be selected at the end of the challenge in 3 different categories:

  • Work Site/ Organization (a min of 5 people)
  • Individual – Female
  • Individual – Male

Award winners will be honored on Tuesday, June 20 during Provo City’s Council Meeting and will receive a Provo Bike Challenge 2017 trophy.

Join the Challenge

  1. In order to participate in the challenge you must have a free Strava account. You can create one at or
  2. In Strava, click explore and the clubs to find your workplace and worksite. If you can’t find your business talk to your HR representative or add it yourself.
  3. You will be automatically added to the advocacy challenge based on your residential or work address that you used when signing up for an account.
  4. Don’t forget to check out our list of bike events found at and mark your calendar for a month full of bicycling celebrations!
  5. Please direct any questions about the Mayor’s Bike Challenge to

Creating Workplaces and Worksites

  1. Register for the Challenge at If you don’t have a personal Strava account already, you will create one in this step. A best practice to simplify management of club hierarchies is the inclusion of a “dummy” administrator. For example, BYU has created “BYU NBC” account to facilitate club management.
  2. Go to and click on Explore and the Club. Create a “Club” of the type “company/workplace.” Create any worksites. The highest level of the club should be the basic company name, for example, The City of Provo, Google Fiber, BYU, etc. If a company wants to enable competition between worksites, the following naming convention is suggested: “companyname_location”. For example, “Provo_Parks”, or “Provo_Police.”
  3. Go back into the National Bike Challenge site and import the new “club” into the Challenge. This is done by clicking their name in the upper right corner of the screen, highlighting Settings in the drop down menu. Select Groups from the list on the left side of the page. The newly created “club” should be in the list “GROUPS AVAILABLE FOR IMPORT.” Import the newly created club and select workplace/company as the group type. Add any worksites you created in step 3.

Creating an account on the National Bike Challenge also makes you eligible for National prizes and awards. Feel free to keep logging your riding hours after the month of May to continue to participate and compete in the “National Bike Challenge”. For more information about the National Challenge click here.

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Finishing Touches for 300 South

300 South

The Provo 300 South project team plans to resume work on 300 South starting Monday, May 8, 2017 to finish landscape installation, grind the roadway for smoothness and perform minor repairs to the concrete flatwork and roadway. This work is anticipated to last a week.

What will this landscape look like? The north side park strips will predominately be grass, perennials, shrubs and trees and will be maintained by Provo City Parks. These landscape features will enhance the work done on the south side of 300 South including the stamped colored concrete with tree grates and decorative lighting.

How will this impact you? During the day, crews will reduce traffic to one lane in each direction to allow room along the shoulder for landscape crews. Concrete grinding will be done at night when there is less traffic and crews have better access to the entire roadway. Although it seems like a noisy operation, residents should not notice much of a difference between the work and regular traffic.

Folks, please remember to obey posted signs and signals during this work.

What were the improvements again? The roadway is much improved now with on-road bike lanes, an off-road multi-use path, and Provo’s first bicycle- friendly intersection. Since mid-December, motorists have been traveling on a concrete roadway that will need less maintenance over its lifetime. Some other great features of this renewed roadway include new storm drain, curb, gutter, sidewalks and concrete pavement which will last longer and require less maintenance over the long-term.

Thank you! Once again, Provo City and UDOT would like to thank the area residents and local businesses for their patience during the main project activities and now as we place the finishing touches on 300 South.

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Bike to Work Day 2017


If you have been looking for a good reason to park your car and take your bike to work – this is it! Tuesday, May 2, 2017 is Bike to Work Day! Provo businesses will host stations located throughout the city and hand out free breakfast, drinks, and other treats to people who arrive by bike from 7:30 – 9:00 am. (Provo City’s breakfast station will be open at 6:30 am for early bird riders.) Pick up some breakfast and coffee, get to know your fellow commuters, have your bike looked at by a pro mechanic, and connect with the Provo Bike Committee and other community volunteers.

To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.

Breakfast Stations

Starting to think about your route to work on Bike to Work Day? Well get ready to pedal to a breakfast station near you! I am excited to announce the 8 Provo breakfast stations that will be located throughout our city on Tuesday, May 2nd. Check out the map below and a description of each breakfast station.

Provo City Breakfast Station – Jamba Juice Smoothies, Einstein Bagels, juice & water, Free bike tune-ups by Mad Dog Cycles, Free Bike Registration, and Bike Swag Giveaway!
Provo Recreation Center Breakfast Station – Donuts and hot chocolate bar!
Towne Centre Mall Breakfast Station – Einstein Bagels, yogurt, granola, and juice.
Riverwoods Breakfast Station – Free breakfast & drink voucher to Marley’s Sliders, Free bike tune-ups by JigaWatt Cycles!
Health Department Breakfast Station – Einstein Bagels & Water
Forge Collective Breakfast Station – Mighty Baker Stroopwafels
Utah Valley Hospital Breakfast Station – Breakfast burritos, fresh fruit, juice and water.
State Hospital Breakfast Station – Cafeteria open to cyclists!
Allstate Breakfast Station – Get ready for a yummy Venezuelan Breakfast!

View larger map here.

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A month full of bicycling celebrations!


May is National Bike Month and Provo is celebrating the many benefits of bicycling! Whether you bike to work or school, ride to save money or time, pump those pedals to preserve your health or the environment, or simply to explore your community – you’re going to love the events and activities we’ve got planned. We’ve put together a month full of events and activities to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride!

Check out the list of events below and mark your calendar for a month full of bicycling celebrations!

Provo Bike Challenge

Monday, May 1 – Wednesday, May 31

Anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Provo is eligible to participate in the Provo Bike Challenge. This event is an easy way to challenge yourself, colleagues, and the Provo community to ride more. Participants are asked to record their daily/weekly miles ridden (using the Strava app) and points will be awarded throughout the challenge.

Participate for a chance to win weekly prizes and giveaways. Those who finished at the top of their category (Organization, Female & Male) will be awarded at the end of the challenge and honored during Provo City’s Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 20th. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.

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Monday Night Ride

Every Monday in May | 9:00 pm
Joaquin Park (400 E 400 N)

Meet new friends during this leisurely, low-pressure evening ride! Meet at Joaquin Park (400 E 400 N) each Monday night in May for a casual ride through the streets of Provo. We’ll be meeting at the same time and place for a similar ride. Come to as many as you can! This event is family friendly and all ages are welcome. Please bring lights for your bike! To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.


Bike to Work Day

Tuesday, May 2 | 7:30-9:00 am
Breakfast Stations hosted by employers, large & small, across the city

Provo businesses will host stations located throughout the city and hand out free breakfast, drinks, and other treats to people who arrive by bike from 7:30 – 9:00 am. (Provo City’s breakfast station will be open at 6:30 am for early bird riders.) Pick up some breakfast and coffee, get to know your fellow commuters, have your bike looked at by a pro mechanic, and connect with the Provo Bike Committee and other community volunteers. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.


Bike-In Movie

Wednesday, May 3, 10, 17 & 24 | 8:00 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective (397 E 200 N)

Each Wednesday in May at 8pm the Provo Bicycle Collective will be hosting a movie night. Every week will be a different bike-themed movie. They will all be family friendly and a little over an hour in length. Make sure to bring your bike and a blanket as well as your favorite movie snack. For more information, follow the Bike Collective Facebook Group.

Bike Theft Prevention Clinic

Friday, May 5 | 6 – 7 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective (397 E 200 N)

In an effort to decrease the amount of bike theft in Provo, we’re hosting a free informational clinic to show you how to keep your bike safe from thieves. Join us at 6:00 pm for a presentation from an officer from the Provo Police Department and a representative from the Provo Bicycle Collective. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.


Tune-up clinic

Tuesday, May 9 | 7:00 pm
Provo Library at Academy Square (550 N University Ave)

Provo Library is hosting a bike tune-up class to help you know how to get your bike in top shape for Bike Month. The class is totally free and open to the public. This is your chance to ask a bicycle mechanic for techniques on tuning your bike. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.

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Overnight Bike Trip

Friday, May 12 | Meet @ 6pm
Provo Bicycle Collective (397 E 200 N)

Meet at Provo Bicycle Collective at 6pm and leave shortly thereafter. Our 10-mile route takes bike lanes on University Avenue and the Provo River Trail the whole way. We’ll set up camp at Nunns Park and get a fire going. Smores will be provided.

To accurately predict how many campsites we need, please select “going” on the Facebook Event Page if you are planning to go and comment how many children you’ll be bringing. We’ll need one site per ten people. Please bring food for the night and morning, a tent or something to sleep in, and warmer clothes as it’s often colder in the canyon than in the city. There will be a bike trailer to help you carry your stuff; up to 100lbs of supplies. Please bring $2/person or be able to pay with Paypal/Venmo to split the campsite cost. RSVP on the Facebook Event Page to claim your spot.


Cyclofemme Ride

Saturday, May 13 | 2:00 pm
Historic County Courthouse Lawn (Center Street & University Ave)

This is a women’s only ride to empower women in the world and on bikes. Come make new friends and enjoy a slow paced 5 mile ride around Provo. We encourage all ages and skill levels. The ride will end at Joaquin Park (400 E 400 N) where the Provo Bicycle Collective will provide snacks.


Worldwide Ride of Silence

Wednesday, May 17 | Meet @ 6:30 pm, Ride starts @ 7:00 pm
Dixon Middle School (750 W 200 N)

Join the Provo chapter of the Worldwide Ride of Silence on May 17th to ride to honor people who were killed or injured while biking this last year and last several years. We will begin at Dixon Middle School and go for a short, slow, silent ride with brief stops at the ghost bike memorials for Doug Crow and Mark Robinson, and return to Dixon Middle School where we will have light refreshments.


Provo Bike Picnic

Saturday, May 20 | Meet @ 4:30 pm, Ride starts at 5:00 pm
Meet at Utah Lake State Park (4400 Center St, Provo) | Picnic @ Lakeview Park (2825 W 1390 N)

There’s no sweeter way to spend your Saturday afternoon than a bike picnic. Meet us at 4:30 pm at Utah Lake State Park for a fun, causal bike ride. We will pedal on over to Lakeview Park to enjoy a homemade picnic. Be sure to pack your own food and blankets. Semi Formal dress is encouraged as the theme is fancy lawn party. We will be having a best dressed competition as well as best bike decorations and best picnic set up.

Bike Prom

Pedal Provo Ghost Tour

Friday, May 26th | 9:00 – 11:00 PM
Memorial Park (800 E Center Street)

Pedal Provo Ghost Tour is holding a very special tour in celebration of Provo Bike Month! Plus they are charging 50% off normal admission so don’t miss out on this chance to travel through the eerie side of Provo. We will begin at Memorial Park on Center Street in Provo. The start time will be 9:00 PM with a different route than usual – so you can see more of Provo! The route will be about 5 miles long and it will be a loop. We will stop about 5-7 times to listen to ghost stories.

Tickets are required to come on this ride so please visit their website: for more info and to claim your spot!

Group listening to story (1 of 1)

Fun Fun Underground Forrest Race and BBQ!

Saturday, May 27th | 7:00 pm
Paul Ream Wilderness Park (1600 500 N)

The FUFFR is back! This event is more of a bike-themed party than a race. The course weaves through trees and streams in Paul Ream Wilderness Park. You’ll get dirty, wet, and likely crash. Last time, we completely shredded a single speed cog on an old beach cruiser. We’ll send 4 people at a time through the course on beach cruisers provided by Provo Bicycle Collective. Winners of each group will race in a final run and the winners will be crowned as the champions of the FFUFR 2017. Hot dogs will be provided; please bring a picnic-style side to share! To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.


Get-Yourself-A-Bike Sale

May 2nd – 6th | 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective (397 E 200 N)

Want to celebrate bike month but need a bike first? Provo Bicycle Collective is offering 10% off everything in store, even with our already low prices. We’ve got an ever-changing selection of refurbished bikes, locks, lights, racks, helmets, panniers, etc. Everything you need to make biking your primary mode of transportation. We’ll also be selling beach cruisers in need of repair for $20 each for you to fix up and ride for the FUFFR race later this month. Come to the shop and see what’s in store!


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Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

Tomorrow on Thursday, April 20 at exactly 10:15 a.m. thousands of Utahns will participate in Utah’s largest earthquake drill, The Great Utah Shakout. Individuals, families, businesses, schools, and government agencies are invited to participate by holding their own drills at the same time. This is a great opportunity for residents and employees to get better prepared for major emergencies and practice how to protect ourselves in the event of a real earthquake.

Emergency Notification System

In the event of a real emergency, we would activate our emergency alert system to notify residents. This system enables us to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, law enforcement activity, missing persons and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods. When we issue a notification about a potential safety hazard or concern, you will receive a message on the voice or text communication methods that you have registered, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more. You pick where, you pick how. Sign up here if you haven’t already.

Residents are also advised to turn to local emergency broadcast stations, KSL-AM 1160 OR KBYU-FM 89.1 for further information.

So how can you Participate?

Provo residents are encouraged to participate in the earthquake drill this Thursday, April 20 at 10:15 am (or at anytime during the day that you are available to participate). Here are a few ways you can be involved:

  • Drop, Cover, and Hold on: At exactly 10:15 am drop, cover, and hold on. As a general rule, this is the best thing to do during an earthquake. You can also play this video during your drill:


  • Be Prepared: If an emergency/disaster were to happen, would your family be prepared? Take the time now to do some simple things that will help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible following any emergency. Make a Plan, Get a Go-Kit, and Be Informed.
  • Register to be counted in the ShakeOut Drill. Sign up here »

Visit to learn more about The Great Utah Shakeout.

Share your Experience + Giveaway

Share your experience on social media by posting a picture of you practicing “drop, cover, and hold on”! Make sure to tag @ProvoCity and use #ProvoShakeOut. Here is a great example of the City Council staff:

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.27.03 AM

Each tweet, comment, and share will be entered into a giveaway. I will randomly select a couple people to be the lucky winners of a Provo Swag Bag containing: $20 gift card to Provo Towne Centre Mall, Provo Bike Shirt designed by Leuven, Provo City Flag, Provo Hipster Frames, etc.

Here are some other great social media examples from last year:

Try the Spoon’s “Broken Concrete” Shake!


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A “Provo Mayor” Music Video

Each year I get to participate in career days at some of our local schools. I love it but I always struggle with the best way to explain the role of the mayor. This year, the creative team decided I should do a music video. Great idea except I CAN’T SING! Not even a note.

My lack of talent didn’t dissuade them. Take a look and see if you agree with me that they’re very good at what they do.

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What Makes a Good Mayor?

Mayor Attributes

A recent survey asked mayors across the country what two traits they believe are most important to effectiveness in office. The number one answer was interpersonal and social skills. With a mind to the upcoming election the survey inspired me to make my own list. Take a look and let me know what you think. Except for the first two they aren’t in order.

  1. Trustworthiness and Transparency: To me these two traits go hand in hand. Is the candidate the same on the outside as they are on the inside? Do they take the time to explain their agenda and do you believe them? This one didn’t start at the top of my list but as I thought about it I felt like nothing else mattered if there was no trust.
  2. Visionary: To me the most important trait of a mayor is the ability to see a vision of the greatness of the city, chart the course, bring others along and then make it happen.
  3. Business Experience: Whomever the residents choose should know that he or she will be essentially the CEO of a $200 million operation with very diverse interests. It’s a “company” that provides power, builds roads, reserves parks, plans communities, issues citations, cleans water, picks up trash, balances a budget, puts our fires, organizes sports events, and even occasionally removes cats from trees. It’s also important that the mayor understands issues like employee moral, discipline, incentives and how to best work with our awesome employees.
  4. Public Speaking: Can the person feel comfortable in front of a crowd (sometimes an angry one) and defuse a situation? The Jason Chaffetz town hall meeting is a good reminder of how difficult this can be.
  5. Chief Fundraiser: The mayor will often find themselves making asks for financial help. From several thousand dollars for the Christmas CD to hundreds of thousands of dollars for the arts. During my term I estimate I’ve raised almost a million dollars a year from private donations.
  6. Communicator: I learned quickly that no matter how well we do at communication it’s not enough. Employees, residents, businesses, and community partners all expect and need to know what’s happening in the city. This role also includes Chief Cheerleader. Spreading the good word of all that is happening in Provo is fun and it’s also the responsibility of the mayor.
  7. Negotiator: Some of my funnest moments as mayor have come as we’ve negotiated difficult deals. The stakes are high and the ability to carefully reach a conclusion on the best interest of the city is a critical part of being mayor.
  8. Facilitator: I’ve appreciated that our residents are extremely willing to respond when I ask for their help. The mayor has a special ability to convene groups and focus them on everything from finding consensus on an issue to tackling a difficult service project.
  9. Confidence: There are a lot of difficult decisions as a mayor and they often impose a hardship on some but are in the greater good of the overall community. If a mayor doesn’t have the confidence that it’s the right thing to do they don’t stand a chance of making it happen.
  10. Patience: I must admit that I’m not a natural at this one but it’s important. Taking the time to slow down and listen, sitting through hours and hours of meetings, meeting with everyone that wants to meet with you, responding to all your emails all are important and can sometimes take way to much time. Even if it doesn’t come natural, the mayor needs to understand it’s part of the deal (and smile).

A portion of my decision not to run for a third term was based on a belief that we had some amazingly qualified candidates waiting in the wings for their turn. I must say that I’m pleased with the announcements of candidates at this early stage and with others I know who are considering jumping into the race.

Provo is blessed with a host of very talented men and women. I’m fully confident that one of them will be able to take Provo to the next level and do even better than I have done.

I’m frequently asked who I will be supporting. This is a hard question because I consider these candidates to be good friends each with a unique set of qualifications. It is my intention not to endorse any of the candidates. I believe the upcoming election will give us all a time to assess these candidates, their background and qualifications and so that we can make the best decision for Provo.

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Get Ready for Provo Spring Festival!


Get ready for a chance to see, hear, taste, and feel the excitement springing to life all around us! Provo Spring Festival is this Saturday, April 15 at Lakeview Park (2825 W 1390 N) from 3:00 – 8:00 pm. Bring your friends, neighbors and family, and come celebrate all the outdoor activities, art and music Provo has to offer. Listen to local musicians, participate in a ropes course, try goat yoga, pet live animals, enjoy food from our food truck roundup and check out a spring art competition. Come discover all the adventures you can have in Provo. Check out the list of activities below and get ready to celebrate spring!

Live Music

Listen to local folk and indie bands at our Main Stage of entertainers. Our lineup includes:

  • Festive People
  • Motion Coaster
  • Sprit City


Food Trucks

Dine with other locals from your favorite Utah Valley food trucks, taste new drinks, meals, and desserts.

  • Mouse Trap
  • Fiore Pizza
  • Cupbop
  • Charlie Boys bbq
  • Art City Donuts
  • Good Grindz
  • La Table Crepes
  • Troop 975
  • Chug-a-lug truck
  • Waffle Love
  • Tropical Sno


Spring Activities – Get outdoors and try dozens of activities celebrating spring!

  • Zorb Balls
  • Puppies
  • Face Painting
  • Yoga
  • Kites
  • Garden Activities
  • Bike Testing
  • Bunnies and Chicks
  • Lawn Games
  • Gardens
  • Ropes Course

Parking – Parking is located at Lakeview elementary school, the church across the street from the park, as well as street parking.

For more information and to RSVP, visit our Facebook Event Page.

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