SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah – Elected officials and residents gathered at Dimple Dell Park Friday to announce an agreement to fund $4 million in improvements that won’t include paving a popular trail.
Things began when residents voted to approve a $4 million bond to upgrade the Dimple Dell Regional Park. Then they spoke out, telling city and county leaders in no uncertain terms that they did not want that money used to pave the park's North Rim Trail.
Opponents of paving the trail mobilized quickly earlier this spring, and in a matter of days they gathered more than 6,500 petition signatures to present to city and county leaders.
They argued the trail should be upgraded, but basically kept the way it is—with equal access for those on horseback as well as hikers, bikers, runners, and folks just enjoying an easy jaunt.
That effort paid off Friday.
“Paving the North Rim Trail of Dimple Dell Park is not what should happen,” Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams told the crowd to cheers and applause.
Monica Zoltanski of the Dimple Dell Preservation Society, said the trail serves as a getaway in the middle of what's become the urban sprawl of the Salt Lake Valley.
“As soon as they hike these sandy trails, put their feet in the water and the stream down at the bottom of the canyon when the water’s running, take a horse out for a ride, walk their dog on the woodchip trails—they know right away they are on special ground,” she said. “There’s no other place like it.”
The county will now form an advisory board to figure out exactly how to spend that $4 million. It will go toward improving restroom facilities, trail markers and the trail itself.
That work is scheduled to begin sometime next spring.