November 22, 2022
Salt Lake City voters clearly communicated their support for new and improved parks, trails, and open spaces on November 8, with 71 percent of voters casting a ballot in favor of the $85 million Parks, Trails & Open Space general obligation bond. Tonight, the Salt Lake City Council, acting as the Board of Canvassers, made it official by certifying the results.
“Salt Lakers love the outdoors, they love their community green spaces, and I’m thrilled to see such broad support for new parks, trails and open spaces in every corner of our capital city,” said Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “This bond will bring about generational change for our neighborhoods, and I can’t wait to see it take shape.”
Bond projects were identified through public input, the Reimagine Nature Public Lands Master Plan (2022), preliminary polling data, geographic distribution, equity in level of service across the City, and the Mayor’s 2022 Plan.
Bond funding will be obtained in multiple tranches over the life of the 20-year bond. Public engagement and conceptual design are already completed or underway for some of the projects selected to receive bond funding, while work on others won’t begin until after bonds are issued. With the election results now certified, the City’s Public Lands Department will begin to prepare information and recommendations to City leadership about how projects and bond issuances should be scheduled.
Bond projects include:
- A new, 17-acre Glendale Park at the old Raging Waters waterpark site on 1700 South, which will be Salt Lake City’s newest regional park (like Liberty and Sugar House Parks) in more than 60 years.
- A new park at the Fleet Block in the Granary District, a Salt Lake City neighborhood with very few green spaces to play.
- Updating, refreshing, and increasing community identity in at least one neighborhood park, trail, or open space in each of the City’s seven City Council districts.
- A brand new playground for all abilities at Liberty Park.
- Improvements to Allen Park (Salt Lake City’s newest park) and Fairmont Park in the Sugar House neighborhood.
- Improvements in water quality, pollinator habitats, open space activation, and migratory nesting grounds in two of the City’s critical waterways: the Jordan River and Emigration Creek.
- Completing the connection of the Folsom Trail to the Jordan River Parkway Trail and adding landscaping and additional trail amenities along the entire trail, improving east/west connections and providing easier access for biking and walking to and between these public spaces.
- Increasing the City’s tree canopy and plant biodiversity, and restoring natural landscapes in parks and open spaces that use less water and are adapted to arid climate.
The Salt Lake City Council released the following statement following Tuesday’s vote: “Thank you, Salt Lake City, for voting to approve the Parks, Trails & Open Space General Obligation Bond. This bond provides Salt Lake City a historic opportunity to enhance and improve our parks and open space areas in all City Council Districts for all to enjoy. Despite the challenges Salt Lake City faced amid the pandemic, one thing that always brought people in our city together is nature. Parks became a critical lifeline for residents to support our mental and physical health and social wellbeing. As the City continues to recover from the pandemic and grows, these investments will help continue the high quality of life residents expect. We are pleased voters showed their strong support for protecting and restoring our natural spaces and look forward to beginning these improvements.”
All bond-funded projects have or will include community engagement to help the City determine final design and implementation plans so that public spaces better serve individual neighborhoods.
Residents can stay up-to-date on bond projects by visiting slcparksbond.com, following the Public Lands Department on Social Media (@SLCPublicLands), or signing up for the department’s newsletter here. The Public Lands Department will publish regular updates about engagement opportunities and project timelines.
A separate sales tax revenue bond was also approved by the Salt Lake City Council in August of 2022. It will fund improvements to Pioneer Park, the Salt Lake City Cemetery, the Warm Springs Plunge Building, and other projects. Information about the differences between the two bonds can be found here.Tags: Parks Trails and Open Space Bond, Salt Lake City Council, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall