In January, 2019, Salt Lake County began dredging the pond at Sugarhouse Park. Dredging ponds in parks helps reduce algae and the likelihood that botulism will occur in water that is shallow and stagnant. Through this process, approximately 18,000 cubic yards of soil will be removed. Under normal circumstances, the removed soil would be delivered to the landfill for disposal. However, through coordination between Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City, the soil is now being re-used at the City’s Model Airport (a park area designated for flying model airplanes and drones). Parks and Public Lands’ staff will transport the soil to the Model Airport where it will be used to fill in the area around the park.
Many years ago, long before this park was developed as a model airport, the site was used as a landfill. Nowadays, the model plane runway and standing areas are bordered by land that is mostly uneven and overrun by weeds. The irregular surface makes it impossible for Parks and Public Lands’ staff to mow and maintain the area properly. This leads to frustration for park users when a model airplane lands outside of the paved area, as it can be difficult for pilots to navigate through the weeds and thistle to retrieve their plane. In spring 2019, the soil that is transported from the Sugar House Park Pond will be added to the park, graded, and seeded with native grasses and plants. The seeds and soil will help support a healthy landscape around the Model Airport and provide food and habitat for wildlife. Additionally, upon proper grading, the surface can be mowed and properly maintained which will allow pilots to enjoy the entire area.