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Salt Lake County mayor seeks to convert athletic fields to artificial turf, remove grassy park strips

WVC artificial lawn
Posted at 11:19 AM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 20:36:24-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson is proposing to spend millions to replace a series of athletic fields with artificial turf and rip out grassy parking strips at 40 different county facilities.

"It's time to do this," the mayor said in a budget presentation to the Salt Lake County Council on Tuesday.

The mayor is proposing to replace three athletic fields in the Murray area with artificial turf, at a cost of $6.2 million. The move would save roughly 2.2 million gallons of water a year and would need to be replaced in 10 years.

Artificial turf is something that is increasingly being used in Utah's ongoing drought emergency. West Valley City recently legalized it, installing some of it outside city hall for residents to try out.

Mayor Wilson is also proposing to tear out 142 grassy parking strips at 40 different county-owned facilities at a cost of $2.2 million. The grass would be replaced with "localscape," which are typically native plants. The change would save 5.5 million gallons of water a year.

The budget request was first introduced on Tuesday. The council will vote on the spending later this month.