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SLC's Allen Park, aka 'Hobbitville,' reopens Sunday

Posted at 5:54 PM, Oct 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-03 19:54:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake City icon is getting set to reopen.

Starting Sunday, a portion of Allen Park will welcome visitors. The park has been closed to the public for 50 years.

“Allen Park is a 7-acre, natural wonderland,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “Since Salt Lake City acquired this space in early spring, our crews have worked to clear out what was a ton of debris.”

Using funds from park impact fees and stormwater mitigation fees, the city acquired the land for about $7.5 million.

Also known by the nickname "Hobbitville," Allen Park has a rich history and serves as a natural oasis in the shadow of a large city.

“It’s a space that was put together by Dr. George Allen who helped to found Hogle Zoo and Tracy Aviary. He had a love of taking care of exotic birds,” Mendenhall said. “Allen Park is already home to a lot of wildlife. We saw a couple hawks fly above us. As you come through, you might see peacocks who have called Allen Park home for a long time.”

The property is also home to several small buildings that will remain closed for the time being. The city plans to work with residents to come up with ideas for the remaining areas of the park that remain closed.

“They aren’t safe to open to the public yet,” Mendenhall said. “The public should look forward to engaging with Salt Lake City as we decide what should become of this incredible space in the heart of our city. There is nothing else quite like it.”

The park is located at 1300 East and Allen Park Drive (about 1850 South). Because parking is limited, guests are encouraged to use public transportation to get to the park.

It will be open during daylight hours seven days a week.