A group of University of Utah students presented an ambitious project to Salt Lake City in 2014.
These students traced three creeks – Red Butte, Emigration and Parley’s – from their headwaters to their confluence with the Jordan River, finding that all three spilled out at the same location. They created site plans to demonstrate the potential of this location and, more broadly, the potential for stream daylighting (bringing the creeks up to the ground surface) for the Salt Lake Valley.
This was the beginning of the Three Creeks Confluence project and it led to the creation of Seven Canyons Trust, a nonprofit working to uncover and restore the buried and impaired creeks in the Salt Lake Valley.
The confluence is located at 1300 South and 900 West in Glendale, in a previously run-down and neglected site. Over $3 million was secured from Community Development Block Grants, Salt Lake City TRAK funding and other sources for the construction of the Three Creeks Confluence project, which is re-creating this neglected space and bringing these waterways out into the open again.
Two hundred feet of combined stream, buried in concrete for 100 years, have now been uncovered in a newly restored channel. Two bridges have been installed, though they aren’t yet open to the public. An east-west bridge will create a gateway for local school children and other community members to access the Jordan River Trail. A north-south bridge, with art designed by local artists, will allow for anglers to toss a line into the new channel. A plaza will provide a venue for relaxation, education and celebration. All spaces will be ADA accessible, and they’ll be host to plantings of native trees, shrubs, grasses and wildflowers due to be completed by summer.
A grand opening celebration for this exciting addition to the west side is tentatively scheduled for late spring or early summer. In the meantime, please avoid the work zone site for your safety.
Editor’s Note: Three Creeks Confluence is part of a larger, 100-year plan to revitalize a connected system of greenways situated along the seven major creeks flowing out of the Wasatch Range. Community members can share their thoughts about this long-term vision in an online survey at sevengreenwaysvisionplan.org. The survey is offered in both Spanish and English and will be one of three public engagement opportunities for this project over the next year.
To learn more about Seven Canyons Trust, visit www.sevencanyonstrust.org.