Salt Lake City

Public Lands Department

Reimagine Neighborhood Parks

In November 2022, Salt Lake City voters clearly communicated their support for new and improved parks, trails, and open spaces. 71 percent of votes on November 8th were in favor of the $85 million Parks, Trails & Open Space General Obligation (GO) Bond. For a full list of projects that will be funded by this Bond, click here.

One of the Bond projects  intends to “reimagine” about a dozen neighborhood parks, trails, or open spaces, with at least one project in each of the City’s seven City Council districts. On average, about $1.5 million will be spent in each district to improve these public lands, for a total of $10.5 million. Investing in under-resourced (and sometimes under-utilized) local parks, trails, and open spaces improves access and activation and often reduces demand at larger parks. These projects also seek to empower communities by offering high quality park experiences for everyone that reflect the natural, historical, cultural, and economic identities of the neighborhoods that these parks, trails, or open spaces serve.

This Bond project is consistent with “Reimagine Neighborhood Parks,” one of the highest community priorities in the recently completed Reimagine Nature Public Lands Master Plan.

As soon as the City Council certified the election results on November 22, 2022, the Public Lands Department and internal stakeholders started working on determining which parks, trails, and open spaces in each city council district would be improved as part of this Bond project.

The criteria that were used to evaluate potential projects included:

  • Asset condition and quality
  • Low relative usage and opportunity for increasing usage and access
  • Lack of significant capital investment in the past decade
  • Opportunities to enhance already funded projects
  • Project site is within a “Greater Need Area” (Public Lands Needs Assessment, 2019) and based on information from the “Reimagine Nature” Public Lands Master Plan, 2022
  • Nearby population densities
  • Potential to highlight neighborhood identities and histories
  • Levels of criminal activity and/or frequency of SLC Mobile requests
  • The Public Lands Department’s district maintenance supervisors’ and park rangers’ on-the-ground experience

Based on the criteria above, the following sites were selected to be improved with this particular part of the GO Bond funding:

District 1:Cottonwood Park, Steenblik Park
District 2:Madsen Park, Peace Labyrinth (and the International Peace Gardens, if funding remains after the highest priorities)
District 3:Warm Springs and North Gateway Parks (and the Freedom Trail in Memory Grove Park, if funding remains after the highest priorities)
District 4:Taufer Park, Richmond Park
District 5:Jefferson Park, Ida Cotten Park
District 6:Donner Trail Park, Sunnyside Park (the latter is possible only with significant funding and operational partnerships)
District 7:McClelland Trail (south of Sugarmont Avenue)

The specific improvements for each site will be determined by community-driven engagement processes, asset condition data, and the City’s established public lands planning process. However, potential elements could include replacement of failing assets like playgrounds and sport courts; addition of unique elements of surrounding neighborhoods’ identities and histories; and, adding multilingual identity and wayfinding signage.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • A park that I hoped would receive funding did not make the list. How can I advocate for future improvements?
    • Residents are encouraged to communicate their neighborhoods’ needs with elected leaders and City staff, and to submit a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) application (open each September) if they’d like to see improvements at a park that was not included in the Bond. It’s also possible that other sources of funding have already been set aside to improve the park you have in mind. Email and staff will let you know of any planned and/or funded improvements to the park you’re interested in improving.

  • When will the specific improvements for the selected sites be completed?
    • Initial phases of community engagement and conceptual design for many of the selected projects will begin in 2023. Community engagement and other Bond projects’ schedules and priorities will help the Public Lands Department determine the order in which these projects will be completed. Construction on some of the “Reimagine Neighborhood Parks, Trails, and Open Space” projects may begin as early as 2025.

  • What parks, trails, and open spaces were weighed against the criteria described in this article as potential Bond projects?
    • All neighborhood parks, trails, and open spaces that are found in each council district were weighed against the criteria. A neighborhood park is defined as a non-regional site that serves those living and/or working within ½ to 1 mile.

  • I thought the Bond was going pay for bigger projects at Glendale Park, Allen Park, and others. What happened to those projects?
    • That’s correct. The “Reimagine Neighborhood Parks, Trails or Open Space” projects, as described in this article, are just some of the more than two dozen exciting projects that will be funded by the Parks, Trails & Open Space Bond. Click here for details about all the other projects.

  • How can I stay informed about the progress of the Parks, Trails & Open Space Bond projects?
    • Follow us on social media and/or subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates about Bond projects.

Share "Reimagine Neighborhood Parks" to your social network: