Author: Christian Ashcraft

Brown is the New Green

If you haven’t heard we are in a full blown drought in Utah! Governor Cox has asked that we only water our lawns 2 times a week to help conserve our limited water resources. By changing from watering 3 times a week to 2, each yard will save up to 3000 gallons per week!

Also when you do water, don’t water during the day. Water after midnight in these hot temperatures so that the water can really penetrate the soil before the sun can evaporate the water. Right now you’re probably thinking, “But what is going to happen to my landscape if I implement these practices?”

Yes, your lawn will most likely turn brown, but it will not die! If it’s not use to infrequent watering, it will go dormant and should return to green in the cooler temperatures with Fall rains. (It is not recommended to stop all watering as this will kill the lawn which will be an expensive fix and big water user when you have to replace a lawn.)

Make sure your mower is set to 3” height when cutting. Taller grass will help shade the crowns of the grass and encourage deeper root systems. Mulching and returning the grass clippings when mowing also helps to reduce evaporation of water from the soil surface.

If your lawn is still green and healthy, fertilizing will help with the overall health and drought tolerance of the grass, but no need to fertilize the lawn if it’s brown and in a dormant phase.

Trees, shrubs and perennial and annual flowers will die from lack of watering, so make these your watering priority. Water deeply 2 times a week (turn your hose to a trickle and water for 10-20 minutes per plant depending on the size). Shallow watering evaporates more easily and encourages shallow root systems, which will cause stressed plants. Deep infrequent watering develops deeper and more resilient root systems.

Weeds in the landscape are big water users. They are usually the only things that thrive in low water situations, so keep them out and under control.

The encouraging part about forcing root systems to grow deeper on our turf and plants by watering less often (but deeper watering) is that next year, you will be able to continue these practices and your plants will be healthier and stay green with less water!

For more resources on saving water in the landscape, visit

If everyone does their part, we can save our precious water resources!

Free Counseling for COVID Stress

The Utah Strong Recovery Project is providing free counseling for COVID–related stress.

Article Excerpt:

The team of professionals has already helped more than 150 individuals through its initial targeted outreach. With more counselors now on board, the services are available to all Utahns who need help coping with any stress related to COVID-19.   

To talk to a Utah Strong Recovery Project counselor seven days a week 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., call/text 385-386-2289 or email your first name and phone number to After hours if you need an immediate response, please contact the Utah statewide Crisis Line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the SAMHSA Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990. Video chat and counseling in Spanish and other languages are available. 

See the full article.

Vaccines for Homebound Families

Through a collaborative effort among local health departments and four state-contracted vaccine administration partners (Community Nursing Services, Hurricane Family Pharmacy, Red Rock Pharmacy, and Liberty Drug), the COVID-19 vaccine is available for administration in the home of individuals with medical conditions or disabilities that make leaving home to be vaccinated an impossible challenge. Additionally, other individuals and caregivers in the home that meet statewide eligibility criteria will also be eligible to receive vaccine during these home visits.

We will be administering all three vaccine manufacturers during this effort: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Because vaccine supply remains limited, vaccine manufacturer may vary week-to-week. Vaccine administration partners will always have access to needed boost doses from the same manufacturer. You will not be able to make requests for vaccine from a particular manufacturer with rare exceptions. For example, if the homebound individual has already received the first dose of Pfizer or Moderna by another means, such as while in a hospital or nursing home.

Because vaccine supply remains tight, we cannot guarantee the time between your request and the vaccine administration event, but our goal is to fulfill the request within 1 week of the request being made. We thank you for your support and continued efforts in protecting all Utahns from COVID-19.

Request a home visit to receive a vaccine here.

Free COVID-19 Support Groups

This group will be focused on COVID-19 related grief—this includes those who have lost a family member or friend
to coronavirus as well as all who are grieving deaths that were disrupted. Disrupted grief experiences include family
unable to be present in the hospital or nursing home at the time of death, no family funeral gatherings, family unable
to travel to memorials, or memorial events being delayed. Losses in these unprecedented circumstances have potential
to be experienced as trauma, and require compassionate, evidenced-based care.

Visit or see the flyer below for more information.

Orem Neighborhood Partnership Initiative

The previous Neighborhoods in Action Program is now known as the Neighborhood Partnership Initiative! Here are some of the changes that have been made to the program:

  • The previous 22 neighborhoods have been combined into nine. These neighborhoods are based on the Development Services neighborhood planning groups and will be used for planning and communication purposes only. To view the neighborhood map- click here. 
  • The Orem Neighborhood Commission was created with one Commission member representing one of the nine neighborhood districts. The Commission members will advise city leaders and management on neighborhood-related issues, help determine neighborhood plan priorities and projects, and be another positive information resource for Orem residents. Commission members include:

    Margaret Black  District 1 (Canyon View, Orchard, Cascade) 

    Reed Farnsworth District 2 (Orem North, Sharon Park)  

    David Moulton  District 3 (Northridge, Heatheridge, Windsor)

    Karen McCandless District 4 (Aspen, Timpview)  

    Jayna Bauer District 5 (Geneva Heights, Suncrest, Orem Park)

    Sunday Meservy District 6 (Orem, Sharon, Hillcrest)

    Angela Cottrell District 7 (Stonewood, Lakeridge) 

    Murray Low District 8 (Sunset Heights East and West)

    Mark Seastrand District 9 (Lakeview, Cherry Hill)

    Brent Sumner City Council Representative 

    Jeff Lambson City Council Representative

  • Communication to neighborhood residents will be done through targeted emails, mailings, social media, utility bills, newsletters, schools, and the utilization of a network of community leaders that are connected with the people of a given neighborhood or area.

To reach your Orem Neighborhood Commission Representative or for any questions or concerns you have about the neighborhood partnership initiative program or Orem neighborhoods in general, please email   

Welcome to the New and Improved Geneva Park!

The City of Orem has been working to improve Geneva Park, located at 260 North 700 West, and give it a much-needed facelift for the last two years. 

The secluded park, situated between the Geneva and Suncrest Elementary schools and next to the Orem Community Hospital, was starting to get old and rundown and was experiencing some increased crime and safety issues. 

Today the park has been revitalized with some new and updated amenities including lighted futsal courts, a covered playground, an expanded parking lot, improved lighting, and new landscaping and benches.   

Last year, the City worked with the Salt Lake (RSL) Foundation, Utah County, and others to remove the existing tennis courts at the park and replaced the courts with two, large futsal courts.  The lighted outdoor soccer courts were Utah County’s first-ever courts of this kind and have become a popular venue for soccer players in the neighborhood and community-wide.  

Additionally, the City used Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to relocate and replace the playground structure.  The new, larger structure was voted on and selected by the neighborhood and is Orem’s first covered playground.

Recently, the City worked with the neighboring Head Start Preschool to expand and upgrade the park’s parking lot giving the park and the preschool much-needed parking. 

The City isn’t finished with all park improvements yet. They plan on finishing the landscaping around the new parking lot and replacing the bathrooms over the next coming year.  

Orem has been focusing on revitalizing parks throughout the city for the last several years.  As a result of these improvements and upgrades, these updated parks are now safer, have less crime, and improved attendance. 

Everyday Strong Webinar for Parents: Build Resilient Kids

United Way of Utah County is offering a free, live webinar training to help you know how you can support children who are struggling with anxiety, depression, or otherwise build resilience in any child you care about. Visit to sign up.

What’s included in a resilience training webinar?

1. Hour-long training with an EveryDay Strong facilitator based on your schedule.

Rather than having to come to a physical presentation, our interactive webinar presentations come to you in your own home. You can choose the date and time that fits you best.

2. Learn and discuss with other community members.

EveryDay Strong believes the solution is not just in parents, but in the community. You will have the unique opportunity to discuss with other community members and learn together.

3. In-depth explanation of safety, connection, and confidence.

We’ll give you concrete steps you can start today to help a struggling child, using real-life examples. All our content and suggestions were crafted by local therapists from Wasatch Mental Health, Intermountain Healthcare, and others.

What you’ll need:

  • a microphone or headset (some way for us to hear you)
  • speakers (so you can hear us)
  • ideally a webcam (not required)

How to Get Involved!

There are many ways to get involved and help improve your neighborhood and community! Some of the ways you can become involved include the following:

  • Stay informed by signing up for the Orem newsletter.
  • Serve on a city board or commission. This is a great way to give back to the community and be intimately involved with what happens in Orem. Click here to apply.
  • Participate in the neighborhood planning process. To find out more about neighborhood planning, contact City of Orem Long-Range Planner, Grant Allen, at
  • Read and understand your neighborhood plan. Neighborhood plans can be found here.
  • Provide feedback about your neighborhood by completing neighborhood surveys.
  • Report problems or code violations in your neighborhood by contacting the Orem Help Center. For more information about neighborhood preservation and ordinances in Orem, reach out to the Orem Neighborhood Preservation Unit or contact the NPU sergeant at (801)-229-7321.
  • Nominate your neighbor for a beautification award by messaging the Orem City Beautification Commission on Facebook.
  • Attend neighborhood leader meetings, workshops, events, and activities. For a calendar of these events, click here.
  • Maintain your home and property to a community standard. To better understand the community standard definition, click here for English and here for Spanish.
  • Show your appreciation to your neighbor for cleaning up their property by nominating them for a Property All-Star Award HERE.
  • Make a difference in the City! City volunteer opportunities can be found HERE.
  • Volunteer to make your community better! Check out and/or for a list of volunteer opportunities throughout Orem and Utah County. 
  • Be a good neighbor!

Do you want to view City Council or Planning Commission agendas & Meetings? View them HERE

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  • Orem, UT 84057

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