The West View

The West View

July 13, 2019

Jim Dabakis

What have you done that makes you qualified for Mayor of SLC

The mayor's first job is CEO, running a $330 million-a-year business. I know business. Over 30 years, my small business became a big business. That personal experience, along with hiring/keeping a team of the best (non-political) professionals will allow us to run a tight ship.

In 2013, I was elected to the Utah State Senate (2012-2018). It was a great joy and the honor of my life to represent you. I dove deep into the details of government and policy. While I served in the capitol, I was always firm in representing our values, but I made great efforts to keep the friendship and respect of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Nothing is possible unless we work together.  

What do you plan to accomplish during your first 100 days in office?

I am not a patient person. I expect to get things moving fast!

  • Expect a plan for making UTA free, with a substantial increase in funding for bus service with greater frequency and more last mile connections.
  • Expect a ramping up of the lawsuit against the Inland Port.
  • Expect I will gather a group of community leaders and we will meet with the Fairgrounds Board. We will also meet with the Governor and legislative leaders on how to make the Fairgrounds pop for the neighborhood, 12 months a year.
  • Expect a plan for more affordable housing, involving serious state bonding and an incentive package for those who build affordable housing.  
  • Expect a review of the newly opening homeless centers, a gush of support for what is working, and rethinking of what needs tinkering.    

How will you help get west-side residents more engaged in city planning and decision-making?

Expect the appointment of a Blue Ribbon panel of west side people with recommendations on making the quality of life better. I will request that the staffed report have serious recommendations in my hands within 180 days.

How will you address the city’s homelessness issues and the negative impacts on west-side neighborhoods, especially near North Temple and along the Jordan River?

I have a no tolerance policy for drug dealers on our streets. We must not give up our houses or our neighborhoods to people who would do grave damage to others. I will go myself, as mayor, to high-drug-use areas and warn establishment owners and property owners that they better clean up their act or I will personally bring down the full force of the City. No one has the right to destroy neighborhoods!

The state, county, and city are spending $100 million dollars to help people suffering from homelessness. With the addition of three new homeless shelters, treatment facilities and employment mentoring, “camping” on the Jordan River needs to end. The health issues and human carnage are painful and we must make helping those that are homeless the highest priority; this area must not be a shantytown.

Would you continue the city’s lawsuit on the inland port? Why or why not?

Yes, I would continue the lawsuit! As mayor, I will pursue the inland port lawsuit with feisty vigor, verve, and voice. There should not be an inland port on a significant portion of Salt Lake City’s land without the express consent of the people and the elected officials of Salt Lake City. Anything other than that is a travesty. The inland port is a generational clash of competing views and jurisdictional questions over Salt Lake City-owned land. The people of our capitol city are pitted against the state legislature and governor, who simply do not share the same vision and values of the people of Salt Lake City. Using these values, we will find a balance, giving Salt Lake City a strong economic center that supports the well-rounded elements that make Salt Lake City a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

July 13, 2019

Luz Escamilla

What have you done that makes you qualified for Mayor of SLC

I have a proven record of improving the quality of life of all SLC residents in my professional career and my public service life. In 2008 I was elected to the Utah State Senate where I have been serving for the last 11 years. As a senator I have stood up for the west side against the disproportionate responsibility on this community with the number of facilities like the state prison, the 300 bed parolee center, halfway houses, and the inland port. I have sponsored and passed 50+ bills, including securing the funding for a sound wall in Glendale. I was able to secure funding for Neighborhood House to help working families on the west side. As mayor I will build consensus on important issues for all residents of SLC and I will continue to be a champion for you.  

What do you plan to accomplish during your first 100 days in office?

During my first 100 days in office I want to focus on these three areas:

  • Empowering SLC
    • A comprehensive assessment of SLC Corporation to ensure we have a satisfied workforce and efficiencies that improve services to all SLC residents
    • Programs available for SLC workers and residents that reflect the commitment to children and families
  • Sustainable SLC
    • Work with division and department heads to finish sustainable projects for the city and begin implementing my vision for a sustainable SLC that addresses transformational transit, affordable housing and improvement of air quality
  • Democracy SLC
    • Growing a sense of trust in the community by bringing city hall to the neighborhoods. Empowering communities to participate in government is a top priority

How will you help get west-side residents more engaged in city planning and decision-making?

Part of my vision for the city is to have all residents engaged in the decision-making process in city hall. I will strengthen and work with community councils and other organizations across the city that engage residents to accomplish this goal. I live on the west side; it is very important to me to continue hearing the voices of residents there. My priority will be to bring city hall to the neighborhoods using creative ways to increase participation like providing childcare and listening to residents in their communities. I am a bridge builder; I have partnered with the division of youth and family programs and the mayor’s office to educate the west side on energy and air quality through the Breathe Clean Festival. All residents in SLC deserve a working city that is accessible to them and a mayor that will listen as well as act.   

How will you address the city’s homelessness issues and the negative impacts on west-side neighborhoods, especially near North Temple and along the Jordan River?

The homelessness crisis in SLC requires ongoing intervention. There needs to be a sustainable solution through a public-private partnership between the city, the county, the state and the private and nonprofit sector. Homelessness is not only a SLC problem; it is a state problem. I have the relationships required to convene all stakeholders and collect accurate data that will result in better public policy. People are living along the Jordan River in tents; it is dangerous for them and community members who live or recreate nearby. Humane care and comprehensive wrap-around services are needed for those who may not accept shelter due to trauma. Funding for these extensive services, including affordable housing, needs to be shared by all stakeholders, not only by SLC tax payers. In the 2019 legislative session I sponsored a bill allowing homeless youth to access emergency shelter in order to protect one of our most vulnerable populations.

Would you continue the city’s lawsuit on the inland port? Why or why not?

I will continue the city’s lawsuit against the inland port authority. I believe that the lawsuit will bring closure and help define the relationship between the inland port authority, the state, and SLC. It is important that the new mayor is ready to stand strong in defending the best interests of the city. As a state senator, I am on record for voting against every bill regarding the inland port. I have stood for SLC and the west side on this critical issue from day one. I spoke against the process and the lack of transparency, and more importantly the aggressive takeover by the state. I established a baseline and the monitoring for air and water quality around the inland port and the airport. I am committed to negotiating the changes that need to happen for SLC interests to be addressed.   

July 13, 2019

David Garbett

What have you done that makes you qualified for Mayor of SLC

I spent 10 years as an attorney with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, litigating against the State of Utah and federal government over public lands, climate change, and air quality. I am an expert in state and federal air regulations, and am ready to get to work to clean up our air in Salt Lake City.

As the executive director of the Pioneer Park Coalition, I’ve worked to create safe communities and ensure our most vulnerable populations have the resources they need.

Affordable housing is an issue the next mayor must address. I grew up working with Garbett Homes, a company that my father started and still operates today. Through their company, I’ve worked directly to help build affordable, green homes, including the first net-zero energy home in our climate region.

What do you plan to accomplish during your first 100 days in office?

I have a lot of plans to start in my first 100 days, but my top priorities would be: 1) begin to negotiate with Rocky Mountain Power to ensure our city’s electricity supply will be powered by 100% clean energy by 2023, 2) open an emergency overflow shelter space for those experiencing homelessness, if necessary, 3) have a team in place to begin preparing a road map for achieving clean air in the Salt Lake Valley in six years, and 4) begin the process to negotiate with businesses to provide incentives to move the refinery and powerplant outside of the Salt Lake Valley.

How will you help get west-side residents more engaged in city planning and decision-making?

In every part of the city, we need better engagement from our mayor and the city’s administration. This means taking more public comment and keeping city residents informed and up-to-date on important issues that will affect them. It’s critical that our mayor has face-to-face conversations with city residents about critical issues. Our mayor must be willing to stand up for what is best for the city while having real conversations with constituents, whether or not they agree on a particular issue.

How will you address the city’s homelessness issues and the negative impacts on west-side neighborhoods, especially near North Temple and along the Jordan River?

 SLC is the hub for homeless services in our region. Because of this, sometimes our resources are stretched. The mayor must work with the county, state, and federal government, as well as a mix of individuals and nonprofits.

First, we cannot leave people unsheltered during our homeless-system transition. If we do not have enough shelter bed space this winter, we will need to create an emergency overflow shelter. Second, I’d create an impact measurement team to ensure that we are helping, not hurting, those in need. And third, I would collaborate with the many service providers that exist in and around the city to reach our goals.

My goal will be to reduce the time people experience homelessness by 25 percent and to end unsheltered homelessness by the end of my first term.

Would you continue the city’s lawsuit on the inland port? Why or why not?

 I oppose the Inland Port and would continue the lawsuit. My career has been built on litigating against the state on air quality issues; I’m not afraid to do it again.

Rather than tackling air quality, the Legislature is making it worse. The Inland Port is an effort to use public money to incentivize development that will produce harmful pollution. This is why I’ve proposed the Utah Clean Hub, which would be based on three principles:

First, the Utah Clean Hub should be designed to incentivize the creation, expansion, and relocation of companies interested in reducing air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.

Second, if companies want the incentives of the Clean Hub, they must agree to offset the pollution their operations will produce.

Third, we should incentivize research and development, and improve the skills of our workforce through new institutes at the University of Utah and Salt Lake Community College.

July 13, 2019

Richard Goldberger

What have you done that makes you qualified for Mayor of SLC

I am qualified because I am not a politician. I am a “Common Sense-crat” who believes in Governing by Objectives.  I serve at the pleasure of the people. Period.

What do you plan to accomplish during your first 100 days in office?

In my first 100 days in office, I will:

  • Get all City machines, fixed and mobile, tuned up to spec.
  • Create more fixed and mobile SLC Police Precincts.
  • Create a joint Fire, Police and Ambulance advanced training platform.
  • Bring back SQUAT fast fire and medical trucks in the Fire Department.
  • Set up various working groups for a number of specific projects.

How will you help get west-side residents more engaged in city planning and decision-making?

I will get more west-side residents engaged by creating a Mobile Office of the Mayor that would travel throughout the city. Let’s bring the mayor to the people!

How will you address the city’s homelessness issues and the negative impacts on west-side neighborhoods, especially near North Temple and along the Jordan River?

I will address problems associated with homelessness by creating massive outreach teams in the following areas: medical, social work, sanitation, and security. I will also establish a triage base camp. I would also create a Butt Redemption Program, where people would be paid 10 cents per used cigarette butt picked up. This would help clean up the city and provide a small source of income for people experiencing homelessness.

Would you continue the city’s lawsuit on the inland port? Why or why not?

I would place the inland port litigation on hold and enter into serious negotiations with the state. I would create the Utah Export Expo – a permanent Utah product trade fair – to be sited in the northwest quadrant. I would also create a wonderful nearby nature preserve.  Note: I believe the Inland Port, or an intermodal center, should be sited in Wendover, Utah. There is plenty of space and access to air, rail and road transport.

July 13, 2019

Rainer Huck

What have you done that makes you qualified for Mayor of SLC

My best qualification is that I have never held office before. Many of the other candidates tout their government experience, but when you look at how government has grown, how taxes are continually increasing, and regulations and bureaucracy endlessly expand to choke every aspect of our lives, it's time for a fresh perspective.

I have lived and worked in Salt Lake City for 70 years and have seen it evolve from a mellow, low-cost city to the very expensive place it is today. As immigrants from war-torn Europe, my family was very poor, but through hard work and lack of oppressive government my father was able to achieve the American Dream. This is much more difficult today. My roots and unique perspective will enable me to reverse this trend and create more opportunity for everyone.

What do you plan to accomplish during your first 100 days in office?

I will restore the neighborhood cleanup, reduce water bills which have grown 10,000% in the last 50 years, stop the police from shooting people, remove the recent sales tax increase, shift part of the transient room tax to subsidize hospitality workers to at least $15-per-hour and save the existing parking structure and terminals at the airport.

How will you help get west-side residents more engaged in city planning and decision-making?

My office will be open to citizen visits to express their concerns eight hours a day. My major impetus is to serve the working people of Salt Lake City to keep more of their income and to enjoy a higher quality of life. Meeting with current city leaders is practically impossible. In general, when candidates are running for office they claim to be agents of the people, yet when they are elected they quickly become agents of the government. This will not be the case with me, because I have no motivation in running for office other than to give back to the city I grew up in and to make life better for all the people who work hard just to pay their bills and raise their children.   

How will you address the city’s homelessness issues and the negative impacts on west-side neighborhoods, especially near North Temple and along the Jordan River?  

The homeless shelters currently under construction are a joke. They are spending $60 million to house just 700 people for a cost of $86,000/person. These facilities will be overrun the day they open. I will build a big and beautiful homeless campus in the northwest quadrant that will accommodate 5,000 people with all the facilities they will need to either rejoin society or have a safe and clean place to live. And I will do this for under $5,000 per person.    

Would you continue the city’s lawsuit on the inland port? Why or why not?    

I would immediately discontinue the inland port litigation. When one government sues another, the taxpayers always lose. Salt Lake City residents will lose, no matter what the resolution, after wasting millions in a case very likely be found in favor of the State.

July 13, 2019

David Ibarra

What have you done that makes you qualified for Mayor of SLC

I am the son of a Mexican immigrant farm worker. My brother, Mickey, and I spent nearly the first 14 years of our lives in the Utah foster care system. I started my first business at age 28. My business background spans highly successful careers in the hospitality, automotive, and the self-improvement industries. Through my foundation, I have assisted 89 students to obtain a college education.  Because of the challenges I have faced, I have gained a passion for compassion, inclusion and fairness for all members of our community. I am a leader now, ready to serve SLC.

What do you plan to accomplish during your first 100 days in office?

I will start by meeting every City employee and all leaders. I will share our vision for our city and ask questions and listen to suggestions on how we all can create a service culture within Salt Lake City. The first big issue we’ll tackle is our homeless crisis – no one should be allowed to sleep on the streets.

How will you help get west-side residents more engaged in city planning and decision-making?

I will spend time with community leaders and residents from the west side of our city. Community councils are the closest representatives to the residents they serve, therefore I will visit them often. I will make sure that equal investment is given to the east side and the west side. Investments and projects in the city will be tracked online to make sure Salt Lake City residents can validate fairness and inclusion.

How will you address the city’s homelessness issues and the negative impacts on west-side neighborhoods, especially near North Temple and along the Jordan River?

As mayor, I will be an active and supportive partner of the Utah Homeless Coordinating Committee. Upon the opening of all three new resource centers, City Hall must quickly assess their effectiveness in reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness and sleeping on our streets. Should the resource centers not achieve our goals, I will have the political will and humane consciousness to act swiftly. I will make sure we provide safe, welcoming (and bedbug-free) shelter, warmth, nutrition, work-counseling, work-placement, mental health care, and medical care for homeless men, women and children.

I will effectively address the shelter-resistant population. It is inhumane to have people sleeping on our streets, and it is not good for communities to have people living on our streets. Reaching “functional zero” – where a community can provide housing for every person within 30 days of experiencing homelessness – can be achieved. I will have the compassion and will to address the shelter-resistant population.

Would you continue the city’s lawsuit on the inland port? Why or why not?

The City’s lawsuit against the State and Port Authority must go forward to determine jurisdiction over the port. I oppose the development of the inland port unless it can be achieved with a zero-negative-impact on our environment.  If the port is to be built, Salt Lake City must receive its fair share of all taxes generated by the inland port to offset its significant impact on the City’s already-overstretched infrastructure and to shore up our shrinking tax base.

July 13, 2019

Erin Mendenhall

What have you done that makes you qualified for Mayor of SLC

I’m on my second term of serving District 5 on the Salt Lake City Council. Prior to being on the council, I co-founded Breathe Utah, which to-date has educated tens of thousands of Utah’s schoolchildren on the quality of our air. I serve on two boards that allow me to interact with stakeholders from across the state – State Air Quality Board Chair and board member of the Utah League of Cities and Towns.

My service on the City Council includes:

  • Served as the Chair of SLC Council in 2018. 

  • Working in City Council to change the rules on “mother-in-law” housing to address the need for more 
affordable housing options in a city that’s already almost completely built out. I worked to take it to a 
city-wide application, thus ensuring geographic equity. This was a unanimous City Council vote. 

  • I helped champion the $21 million dollar affordable housing package through the Redevelopment 
Agency of Salt Lake City that has helped to bring more housing options to new developments 
throughout the city. 

  • I worked to create the city’s first women’s homeless shelter, The Geraldine E. King Women’s Resource 
Center, on 700 South. It will have 200 beds and provide assistance to help people transition into stable 
work and housing. 

  • I worked to fix our streets with an $87 million bond that was approved last fall, and today, work crews 
are on the job. The city has also raised revenue to double our maintenance crews, so we’re getting twice as many miles of road fixed each year. 


What do you plan to accomplish during your first 100 days in office?

In my first 100 days in office, I would:

Update the impact fee facility plan so growth can actually pay for growth. 


  • Reinvigorate basic city services such as bringing back the neighborhood cleanup program, taking a 
serious look at how we can best fix our infrastructure, and being creative when it comes to utilizing our 
alleyways - a unique asset to our neighborhoods. 

  • Further digital equity plan: The current administration and various community partners discussed an inclusionary 
plan to provide better, fair access to up-and-coming digital resources. I want to take it further, incorporating the digital inclusion plan as a part of the city’s master plan. We need to identify opportunities for access to broadband, devices, and digital literacy training and address those needs.
  • Continue the Inland Port lawsuit. 


How will you help get west-side residents more engaged in city planning and decision-making?

Right off the bat, there are very basic steps my administration would take to include west-siders in the conversation. We need to focus on digital equity; there is simply no excuse for the lack of parity when it comes to connectivity within this city. Across the globe, the process for making decisions is becoming more inclusive and dynamic; the way we make decisions in our own backyard should be no different.

The west side of Salt Lake City has challenges that are rooted in a history of industry, class segregation and, frankly, racism in the form of redlining policies that gratefully no longer exist, though the outcomes persist. Over the course of this campaign, I have heard time and time again that residents feel disconnected when they are forced to adhere to city schedules that don’t acknowledge the need for childcare and careers that aren’t molded to a 9-5 week. To get more voices at the decision-making table, we need to take a serious look at how we structure these conversations - and with that, how we better define placemaking in this city.

How will you address the city’s homelessness issues and the negative impacts on west-side neighborhoods, especially near North Temple and along the Jordan River?

Our neighborhoods outside the downtown core have seen a marked increase in homeless populations since Operation Rio Grande in 2017. Parks, alleys and other public spaces have become spaces for encampments and overnight shelter. Our new homeless resource centers will provide real shelter that is both safe and accessible. Our parks should be safe and welcoming spaces for all. Salt Lake City should explore a Park Ranger Pilot Program that would bring a consistent presence to major park and trail areas. This would connect people to services, enforce park rules, and help those in need.

Would you continue the city’s lawsuit on the inland port? Why or why not?

Yes, I intend to continue the city’s lawsuit as mayor. As a mother of three I will work every single day to build and wield our power to ensure the best possible outcomes for all residents of our city, for our lands and wildlife, and for the air our children breathe.

July 13, 2019

Stan Penfold

What have you done that makes you qualified for Mayor of SLC

I first became civically active in Salt Lake City over a traffic issue in my neighborhood. After organizing our neighborhoods and successfully defeating UDOT, I found I had a real passion for neighborhood activism. I became chair of my community council, then chair of the community council network (no longer in existence). From there, I served two terms on the Salt Lake City Council, spending most of my time in leadership positions. In addition to my time serving on various councils, I spent the last two decades as Executive Director of the Utah AIDS Foundation. I have 25 years of bottom-line experience, managing an organization that served a severely marginalized population. I managed staff, a tight budget, limited resources, multiple constituencies, and vulnerable clients by building relationships and coalitions in the community.

What do you plan to accomplish during your first 100 days in office?

My top priority is No Fare for Clean Air. I want to provide a no-cost Hive Pass to Salt Lake City residents. It will decrease congestion on our streets, reduce tail pipe emissions, and is fundamentally an equal access and social justice issue to help residents with tight budgets.

We need to make a commitment to funding and completing the Folsom Trail. In my time on the City Council, we secured the initial TIGER Grant to pay for paving the, but I want to see it fully funded. I also want to prioritize the Jordan River Parkway in the Parks budget to improvement access and maintenance.

How will you help get west-side residents more engaged in city planning and decision-making?

It’s about meeting people where they are, not making them come to you. It is critical that the mayor spends time on the west side to discuss the issues affecting them. I am proposing a neighborhood grants program that gives residents the ability to better promote the character of the neighborhood they call home. These funds could be used for public art programs, community gardens, historic street signs – the sky is the limit. It’s about getting the community involved in shaping the kind of neighborhood they want.

How will you address the city’s homelessness issues and the negative impacts on west-side neighborhoods, especially near North Temple and along the Jordan River?

As Mayor, I will make housing and homelessness a top priority. I have an ambitious goal of adding 10,000 affordable housing units by 2025 dispersed throughout Salt Lake City. I will embrace common-sense ideas like the housing first approach. It’s a simple concept gives people a roof over their heads. Once they have housing security, we can surround them with the critical services necessary to stay in housing.

Beyond that, Salt Lake City faces a shortage of smaller, first time homes. This is an issue that keeps young families in rental unites, or forces them to move out of City limits. We need to take innovative approaches to solve this issue.

Would you continue the city’s lawsuit on the inland port? Why or why not?

I do believe the State overstepped it’s bounds and I think this is an issue that needs to be resolved by the courts. A primary concern of mine is the potential of a port to further harm residents on the Westside who already see the worst air quality in the Valley. It is a shame that the relationship between the City and State has soured to the point of a lawsuit being necessary. As mayor, I will work to repair the trust lost between the City and State and avoid costly court battles.

By Willow Jordan

My family has a special plot in the Cannon Greens community garden by the Sorenson Center in Glendale. When the garden was all growing it was beautiful! There were flowers in our garden, and there was shade and lots of nice places to rest.

My family grew things like sunflowers, carrots, peas, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, and other kinds of flowers and vegetables. We made lots of food with the vegetables we grew there, like chicken soup, salads, spaghetti sauce, baked potatoes with butter on them (that’s my favorite!) mashed potatoes with gravy, French fries, and canned green beans.

I have a picture of my friend Ruby and me in the garden. We were playing with a two-year-old girl whose family is from Africa. They have a garden plot there too. We were playing hide and seek with the little girl. She would say “I found you!” and then we would have to find her (but it was really easy). When we would “hide,” we just had to stay in one spot and we talked and told each other stories until she found us. 

I feel really sad because we can’t go to the garden anymore because the City found BAP (benzo[a]pyrene) in the soil and so they closed it all up and won’t let us back in. BAP comes from burning wood or coal and putting the ashes in the soil. It also comes from wood, like railroad ties, that is treated with chemicals.

I interviewed Bridget Stuchly and Debbie Lyons who work at the City & County Building. Debbie is the director of the office of Sustainability and Bridget is the program manager in the Sustainability office for SLC’s community garden program. Van Hoover came too. He works for Wasatch Community Gardens and helps in our garden.

It’s really sad that our garden was closed, but they said we will be able to use it again after they replace the bad soil with fresh new soil. Bridget said it will take a year and a half and they will make a “clean, fun, and safe place for everyone.” They are going to ask how the people in the community want it to be like. If they ask me, I’m going to tell them to keep the playground!

I feel really bad about pollution, like what’s in my garden, and when people chop down trees with machines, and the machines make pollution and the trees are the plants that clean the air. Pollution is a very big problem because babies, people and animals get sick from it. Our planet is getting dirtier and dirtier and sicker and sicker and soon it will be so dirty that all the beautiful places won’t be beautiful anymore. Almost all the animals will be extinct from what we are doing.

I want to make a big change. I want all the houses to have solar panels because then we won’t use as much coal for electricity that makes pollution. And I want all the cars to be electric cars, because even though they make pollution when they make the car, they don’t when we drive them. And I also want everyone to pick up garbage and not throw trash on the ground and to recycle more. Also we should drink tap water and not the water in the plastic bottles, but if you do have to use them, you should refill it lots of times from the drinking fountain.  

I hope the garden opens again soon because then people could grow good food for their families. At the garden they give you your own space to plant seeds. It isn’t only for food; it’s for beauty too. People from other places can come too like from Mexico, or like the little girl from Africa or even China, then they will feel welcome in the garden.

If we start here in a little place and make a big change then maybe the change will spread and spread and spread and soon the world will be a better place.

Willow Jordan is a seven-year-old Glendale resident, who has been gardening since she learned to walk. Her mother, Amy Jordan, provided assistance with this story. The Cannon Greens Garden is located at 773 W. 1300 South in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Editor’s note: The Jordan River runs through the heart of Salt Lake City’s west side. It is one of the greatest defining geographical features of this area, is a vital sliver of natural wildlife habitat and an invaluable source of recreation for Utahns. This is why we have decided to devote space each issue to tell the stories of our mistreated, neglected, yet beloved urban river. This is the first of many stories to come.

by Terry Marasco

One of the great waterways of the Salt Lake Valley is the Jordan River, which flows 40 miles from Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake. The Jordan River Parkway, a linear park with a paved bicycle/walking trail, winds alongside the river through multiple cities and towns.

At the southern end, the Jordan River Parkway Trail connects with the Murdock Trail in Lehi, and at the northern end, it joins the Legacy Trail near the Great Salt Lake.

Trail-users in Salt Lake City’s portion of the parkway can easily access countless public amenities from the trail. Here, the parkway passes through or near at least seven parks, three golf courses, three city libraries and several schools.

Other interesting features along the parkway include the Jordan River Peace Labyrinth at 1500 South, Bend-in-the-River open space at 1100 South, International Peace Gardens at 1000 South, Fife Wetlands at 900 South, art murals at 300 South, Fisher Mansion at 200 South, pedestrian bridge at 100 South, Utah State Fairpark at North Temple, Cottonwood Dog Park at 400 North, and the Regional Athletic Complex at 2280 North.

The Jordan River Parkway trail is the central piece of a network of trails spanning over 100 miles between Ogden and Provo. The river is navigable by kayak and canoe with numerous input places. And you can now ride your bike the entire length of the river, thanks to the installation of a large pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks near 100 South. Don’t worry about getting hit with a golf ball at Rose Park Golf Course; the trail has a protective fence there!

If you’re active and like to run, bike or boat, check out the upcoming Range 2 River Relay on July 13 hosted by Seven Canyons Trust. Competitors will bike, boat, and run from the Wasatch Range to the Jordan River!

One of Seven Canyon’s most recent projects is Three Creeks Confluence, where Red Butte, Emigration, and Parley’s Creeks spill into the Jordan River at 1300 S. and 900 W. At this site, with over $3 million secured, Seven Canyons will daylight (bring to the surface) 200 feet of combined stream and construct a fishing pier, plaza space and a bridge that will connect to the Jordan River Parkway Trail. Construction is expected to begin in September.

According to Seven Canyons Executive Director Brian Tonetti, the goals of the project include expanding green infrastructure solutions to water quality impairments; enhancing the ecological value of the site and reactivating the neglected area; diversifying active transportation and recreation opportunities; and creating a gateway to the Jordan River for the community.

If you have a chance to visit the Jordan River Trail this summer, be sure to bring your binoculars. You may see ducks, geese and other migratory birds, as well as beaver, muskrat, fish and other exciting wildlife.

For more Salt Lake County trails and parks info, visit: https://slco.org/parks/trails/ 

Range 2 River Relay
July 13, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Begins at the Utah State Fairpark, West Lot, 1220 West North Temple.

The first person bikes 3.6 miles from City Creek Canyon to the creek’s confluence with the Jordan River at the Utah State Fairpark. The second person boats 3.3 miles on the Jordan River from the Fairpark to 1800 North. The last person runs 3.4 miles on the Jordan River Parkway Trail from 1800 North to the Fairpark. Or complete all three legs yourself!  Register by July 12 at https://sevencanyonstrust.org/events/relay

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