Salt Lake City Public Lands worked with the Capitol Hill neighborhood in 2015 to create a community plan for future improvements at Warm Springs Park. The predominant theme and primary goal that came out of this public engagement was a desire for park activation, in hopes to create a more welcoming park for everyone. It is commonly recognized that more healthy activity in a park can reduce undesirable activity. Enlarging the field so that it can be scheduled for league play was a strategy favored by the community at that time and seen as a way to accomplish the goal to bring more people to the park. Five years later, Public Lands continues to have difficulty meeting all the demands for soccer fields throughout the valley and project that an additional soccer field at Warm Springs park would be highly sought after and work as a viable option for park activation. Enlarging the field is one way to bring more people to the park, but not the only option. When the community voted on the list of potential improvements, expanding the field was a top priority.
In 2018, Public Lands was awarded CIP funds for design only of the multi-use field. Construction funds have not been approved, and therefore tree removal or field expansion is unfunded and will not occur in the near future.
In 2019 during the design process, planners for the park met with Urban Forestry on site to inspect the trees anticipated to be impacted. More than half of the 15 trees proposed for removal were found to be in fair to poor condition. Should the removal of fifteen of trees occur, the planned design calls for the addition of more than two trees for each tree removed. New trees will be installed with zone irrigation, so they are watered appropriately during our hot dry summers.
Recent Facebook posts and social media have created more public discussion around the option to enlarge the soccer field and subsequently remove trees. Since the public planning process occurred more than five years ago, we want to circle back with the Warm Springs community to make sure we install publicly supported amenities. Public Lands attended two community council meetings to discuss this option in more detail. In addition, Public Lands requested more community input about the proposed changes through a brief survey.
For more context and information regarding the Downtown and Capitol Hill district parks, please visit the Public Lands Needs Assessment at: https://www.slcdocs.com/parks/SLCPLNeedsAssessment.pdf
Click here to read a summary report of the results of the recent Warm Springs Park survey. Public Lands administration is currently considering the results of the survey to determine the next steps that will be taken regarding the park. Public Lands was awarded CIP funds for design only of the multi-use field. No funds for any construction projects at Warm Springs Park have been approved.
Keep in mind that Salt Lake City welcomes and values community input for potential capital improvements throughout the city, including improvements at parks, trails, and natural lands. Constituent requests are accepted year-round and will be reviewed by the city division in which the request aligns. Requests are then reviewed and either approved or rejected by City Council.
Warm Springs Park is a recreational open space that is home to natural warm springs that were used by Native Americans prior to the arrival of Mormon pioneers in the middle of the 19th century. The park now hosts recreational and community activities and events.
At the center of the park is the original Warm Springs Plunge building, which was repurposed as The Children’s Museum of Utah until 1983. Although the building is now vacant, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Improvements to the park over the years consist of walking paths/trails, parking, restroom facilities, tennis courts, play fields, artwork, landscaping, and interpretive signage/panels.
The park is near bus stops for UTA routes 455, 460, 462, 470, 471.
- Multi-purpose fields
- Drinking Fountain
- Picnic Tables
- Time limited off-leash hours
- New off-leash dog area to be constructed
- Design for multi-use field improvements and events area
- Design to enhance the natural warm springs area
Zip Code: 84103
Council Member: Chris Wharton
Community Council: Capitol Hill
Property Type: Community Park
History of Warm Springs Park
While Warm Springs Park itself isn’t historic, it borders the original 1922 Warm Springs Municipal Bathhouse and historic warm springs.
The warm springs were first used by Native Americans then by fur trappers and pioneer settlers in the early 1800’s. According to early settler Thomas Bullock, the warm springs had healing properties, “every person who was sick that bathed in it recovered…those who once bathe there want to go again.” Three years later, a 15’X30’ adobe bathhouse was erected using pine-log pipes to channel the spring water and a ditch nearby for freshwater.
Journal entries dating back from the 1850s indicate that the bathhouse was one of the first venues for balls, socials, and weddings in Salt Lake City. It had twelve rooms (six on each side), a ballroom, two parlors, a dining room, a double kitchen, an indoor pool for women with an outdoor pool for men.
Little was changed to the bathhouse until 1865 when it was replaced by a larger facility two/tenths a mile north (close to where the drinking fountain is in Warm Springs Park today). Seven years later, in 1872, the City installed a mule-driven streetcar system to make the commute from downtown convenient. Eventually, the bathhouse became repurposed as The Children’s Museum of Utah, which was open until 1983. Although the building is now vacant, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.