WASHINGTON CITY, Utah - A movement in southern Utah to revitalize a historic hot spring is gaining steam, and now organizers are planning a clean up of the area to show the city what it can become.
Niki Warner is behind the Boiling Springs Ecoseum and Desert Reserve movement. She says their goal is simple: clean up the site and make it a place the public can once again enjoy.
“There’s a lot of nostalgia,” Warner said. “Because so many people remember coming here as kids and it was part of what was intricately tied into their childhood memories.”
The group launched their campaign earlier this year. Now they’re taking a hands on approach. Saturday they’re organizing a community cleanup. Already dozens have signed up to carry away the trash that has accumulated over years of abandonment.
“People are just really thrilled with the idea of getting to engage, getting to do something,” Warner said. “And actually getting to come see the boilers again.”
The boilers fell into disrepair shortly after UDOT built I-15 right next to the spring in the 1960s. it became a dumping ground and spot for illegal drugs and alcohol use. The city fenced off the area in 1999.
Since the ecoseum’s campaign began, there have been some cleanup efforts. Washington City came in and cleaned up a little bit, and fixed some of the holes in the fence to try and cut down on the graffiti. But Warner said there’s still a lot to be done. She estimates it would cost $20 million to revitalize the springs and create a conservatory and a trail system through the land.
“I think it’s really fascinating they’re trying to restore it,” Washington City Resident Tom Christilaw said. “It has the historical implications with the early settlers and everything.”
Residents like Christilaw are encouraged by the idea, believing the restoration would not only have environmental impacts, but tourist draws as well.
“I think if they did something like this, it would be flocked with people,” Christilaw said.
The city owns the boilers and the surrounding land, which is currently slated for commercial development. Any project would have to be approved by the city council.
The community clean up will take place Saturday, July 12 at 7:30 a.m. The Boilers property is located north of I-15 in Washington at around 200 W. Buena Vista Blvd. For more information, contact the Boiling Springs Ecoseum and Desert Preserve, either through their website, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.