Salt Lake City

Public Lands Department

Miller Bird Refuge and Nature Park Capital Improvement Program Project

Project Description

In 2017, a constituent submitted an application for funding that addressed the following goals at Miller Park:

  1. Preserve historic structures, such as the WPA (Works Progress Administration) masonry walls, foot bridge, and stairways constructed during the Great Depression
  2. Improve accessibility of the trail system that navigates the park.

To achieve these goals, the constituent originally proposed the following three projects:

  • Restore a trail alignment that was re-routed in 2014
  • Install a walking bridge over Red Butte Creek
  • WPA Wall stabilization

Upon the hiring of a consultant, the City obtained geotechnical and structural engineering reports that recommended projects to fulfill the stated goals (Preserve historic structures and Improve accessibility). With the new information gathered, Public Lands proposed 12 new projects to fulfill the original goals to a greater extent and conducted engagement on the proposals to identify which of the 12 projects to prioritize.

Project Details

Project Location

900 South and Diestel Road (1735 East)

Project Manager

Troy Anderson


Project Status

City Council approved new scope of work and Funding. Design phase will start in Spring of 2024.

Community Engagement

First Round of Engagement in 2021

In Early 2021, Salt Lake City received comments and suggestions on the original project proposal. Click the link below to review the original project proposal and comments received during this period of engagement.

Second Round of Engagement in 2023

Based on the studies and recommendations from the engineering reports, 12 new projects were proposed to fulfill the two original goals of the CIP application to a greater extent. Community engagement was conducted from February to March 2023 to understand which of the following projects the public would like to see prioritized:

  • Trail Slope Improvement Projects: Projects add access amenities like handrails and stairs. These projects also aim to level out trail slope and protect the wall foundation.
  • Accessibility Improvement Projects: Adds access amenities like handrails and ramps to entrances and stairways along the trail.
  • Wall Foundation Protection Projects: Projects to preserve historic walls by covering exposed foundations and adding stabilization.
  • Manage Structural Loads on Historic Walls: Projects to remove weight being placed on walls to extend their lifespan and remove stress.
  • Trail Protection: Projects aimed to improve infrastructure of the trails address erosion and access issues, including retaining wall repairs

Learn more about the Engagement Process!

Check out the link below where you can find the original CIP proposal, the comments and priorities collected in 2021, the 12 proposed projects and descriptions, as well as the report summarizing the results for the 2023 community engagement.

Project Updates

City Council Approvals

On October 17th, City Council approved a new scope of work to be accomplished with the 2017-2018 constituent CIP funding. The remaining project funding is now authorized to be spent to accomplish the following tasks in Miller Park:

  • Repairing and protecting the historic crib walls to increase wall and trail stability. Note that limited work for relocation and improvements to irrigation heads near the historic walls could also be included in this project.
  • Stabilize exposed wall foundation with soil nails and cover foundation where feasible, and to prevent erosion with adjacent properties.
  • Improve running and cross slopes for accessibility located near the entrance on 900 South and on the east side of the creek, and other accessibility improvements as there are efficiencies with other projects.

Now that the scope of work for the funding has been approved, the City will work closely with the State Historic Preservation Office and other stakeholders throughout the detailed design process, beginning Spring 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much of the originally funded $425,000 been spent?

Since being funded in 2018, the City has spent funding on hiring a consultant and structural/geotechnical engineers, public engagement and visual representation graphics boards included on this project page, as well as engineering fees required for all project implementation in the City. With the work completed so far, there is a balance of about $367,000 remaining for this project.

What did the period of public engagement entail in 2021?

The consultant hired assisted the City in conducting a period of public engagement during the Spring of 2021. 124 community members participated in an online survey that collected demographic information and lead to the comments/suggestions shown in the above graphics. The community comments and suggestions, along with the engineering reports analyzing the property led to potential projects in the park that would fulfill the goals of the original CIP proposal.

What are the next steps of the project?

Public Lands presented the scope changes to City Council through a budget amendment process to make the determination of how to proceed. On October 17th, City Council approved a new scope of work to be accomplished with the 2017-2018 constituent CIP funding. The consultant will move forward with the technical design of the selected projects and it is expected that construction will begin in 2024.