Hopefully you voted in the mid-term elections? Salt Lake City folk passed a $85 mil bond to fund more parks and trail projects which will cost the average homeowner @$54 per year for 20 years beginning in 2024.
The biggest project to be funded will be the Glendale Regional Park which will convert the former 1700 South Raging Waters Park into a new 17-acre park-the first for the City’s forgotten west side. The attraction of a giant wave pool and water slides (at times called Wild Wave and Seven Peaks) fell into disrepair and shut down in 2018. The new plan includes community gathering spaces, trails, an overlook, playgrounds, and sport courts; addition of unique elements of surrounding neighborhoods’ identities and histories, increasing elements of placemaking based on community input and desires, and adding multilingual identity and wayfinding signage. Salt Lake City itself could have used some of those funds to update the wayfinding signs from the Olympics that are outdated and faded around downtown.
Other items the bond will fund include completion of the Folsom Trail where there is one section from 1000 West to the Jordan River Parkway, a new park in Granary District , plantings along the Jordan River Corridor to help improve air and water quality, improvements to parks in all City Council districts, replacement of the well-worn but actively used ‘Rotary Playground’ area of the Northwest area of Liberty Park, improvements to Fairmont Park including enhanced public access and hopefully new uses of the Boy’s and Girls Club tennis courts, and landscape and preservation improvements to historic Allen Park across from Westminster College.
The City has surveyed residents about public lands and found that residents were using parks more because of Covid-19, and with the anticipated growth we’ll be seeing it’s important to always include greenspace in the overall development of the City. I sat on a charrette about our parks several years ago when I served as a volunteer Planning and Zoning Commissioner for the City. One expert who came in to lead the discussion mentioned that he really didn’t think the capitol city or the valley needed more parks because you could be in the mountains here in 15-30 minutes. Currently there are 103 parks and numerous trails throughout the Salt Lake Valley.
The first park here was Liberty Park, established in 1882. It is second in size to Sugar House Park. That park came as a result of the state Legislature passing a statue in 1947 setting aside the old state prison site as a state park. That one wasn’t necessarily targeted for any major renovations, but I would have suggested recognizing the fact that when we have snow we have a great sledding hill there but no formal infrastructure to assist sledders like a railing/stairs to use when climbing back up the hill, an ice rink or pickleball courts. I personally think we need a year round area in one of our city parks for roller derby in the summer and hockey in the winter.