Rose Park: Diverse in culture, united by community

Story and photo by MELANIE HOLBROOK

The Salt Lake City neighborhood, Rose Park, is well known by its diversity in culture. However, what people may not know is that its groups and councils bring the community together.

Brad Bartholomew, Rose Park community council chairman, said in a telephone interview that groups such as the community council, the Lions Club and the Rose Park Revival are just a few organizations in the community.

“There are also a group of people who mainly like to get together just to hang out and get to know others in Rose Park. They have one or two food drives every year as well,” Bartholomew said.

Rose Park’s community council meets the first Wednesday of every month to discuss what’s happening in its neighborhood, to discuss concerns from community members or organize community events.

The Rose Park Revival, a committee created for fun in the neighborhood, has held events such as the “Crop Swap” and the “Fun-O-Rama.” The crop swap is an opportunity for residents to share produce from their garden and get to know their neighbors.

According to the revival’s website, “The feedback received was very positive but insightful as well. Folks here are so kind that the idea of selling the fruits of their gardens was a bit foreign, when they usually just give them away to neighbors and friends.”

The crop swap allowed people to swap things like Armenian cucumbers for a bushel of apples. The event was held in August 2011 and was a success. “I was even surprised at the quantity and quality of offerings given the late spring and earliness of the date,” wrote Jim Harper, a community member, in a post on Rose Park Revival’s website.

Mario Organista at Westpointe soccer field.

Mario Organista, 20, a Rose Park resident, said his neighborhood “definitely has several ways of bringing people together.”

One unifying activity for Rose Park community members is soccer. Residents from all over the neighborhood come together for games. It gives members a chance to interact and cheer for fellow friends and family. “Soccer games are just full of energy and puts everyone in a good mood. After having a good time with your neighbors, you don’t want to have tension,” Organista said.

Organista has lived in Rose Park his whole life and has enjoyed it. “There’s usually stuff going on for the community to get together and have fun,” he said.

He said a unique way that the community is unified is through there being a lot of different cultures. “There isn’t just one race or culture that is a minority; there’s so many different people, it makes us have more in common,” Organista said.