Officials discuss Salt Lake Co. parks, recreation 10-year master plan

Posted at 10:30 PM, Nov 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-19 00:30:02-05

MILLCREEK, Utah -- From dog parks, to trails, to pickle ball -- everything was on the table during a Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation community meeting Tuesday night regarding the department's 10-year master plan.

"I'm glad they are taking the public's opinion into the plan because the parks are for the people," said Jennifer Garner.

Garner was one of more than 50 people at the Millcreek Library Tuesday night for the fourth of five community meetings.

Residents were eager to tell the county what they are lacking when it comes to their parks.

"Two of the growing concerns in the park is pickle ball and our lack of it, there aren't any courts, as well as off-leash dog areas," said Norma Carr.

The county sent out a survey to 20,000 residents asking them their number one priority for the next 10 years. They didn't expect the response they received.

"I think some people were surprised. I think they thought they'd see a lot of swimming pools, and ice rinks, things like that but across the board, county wide, every planning district wanted walking, biking and hiking trails," said Callie Birdsall of the Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Department.

The biggest challenge for the county is finding enough open land to build everything.

According to the national county average, there should be five acres of park land for every 1,000 residents.

"With the population growth, that's growth in this county alone, we will be very short, we will have a short fall of that acreage of people verses how much space we have," Birdsall said.

If and when all these suggested amenities are completed, the work is still never done.

"It's also a question of how many parks do you have and do you have enough money to maintain them over the long hall," said John Janson, of the Salt Lake County Planning Commission.

The county said they hope to have the new 10-year master plan in place by the Spring of 2015.