Keep Dimple Dell Wild! Don't Pave the Park!
Keep Dimple Dell Wild! Don't Pave the Park!
Keep Dimple Dell Wild! Don’t Pave the Park!
Dimple Dell Regional Park is a 646-acre Salt Lake County public wildlife preserve in Sandy, Utah. It is identified as Open Space in the Salt Lake County Park System Master Plan and as such, is identified as “the most pristine of all recreational property in the County’s inventory” because of its sensitive environmental makeup and natural, undeveloped landscape. This nature park is one of the largest Open Space areas along the densely-populated Wasatch Front.
Dimple Dell is treasured for its wildlife, native plants, majestic mountain views, and a sense of serenity not found in other parks. It is distinct for its low-impact, mulched trails and sandy hillsides valued by hikers, trail runners, dog walkers, cross country skiers, bird watchers, and equestrians. It is one of the few remaining parks in the Salt Lake County system that offers equestrian access.
Salt Lake County will spend $4.5 million to pave the current wood chipped North Rim Trail that runs from the 1300 East tunnel to Granite Park. Per County standards, the soft natural trail will be paved with an asphalt roadway similar to the Jordan River Parkway. But it’s not just a 10-foot roadway coming in! County construction plans call for a 10’ asphalt roadway PLUS an adjacent equestrian trail, shoulder and buffer zone, which would ultimately clear a 30 to 50-foot-wide, three-mile-long trail. This massive construction plan will kill native plants and displace wildlife, destroying the natural appeal of the park.
Long time county residents, park users, adjacent neighbors and citizens around the Valley are alarmed to learn of the plan to pave the trail and its cost. Pavement and construction of this pristine Open Space runs counter to today’s conservation interests of the community, as well as the County’s own Master Plan for preserving Open Space. Most park users are caught unaware of the scope and the cost of the pavement project and do not want it.
Before the bulldozers and backhoes destroy the park, we need to tell our elected officials that we oppose their pavement!
Call to Action!
We need your voice to protect the park! Residents and park users must contact the County representatives and demand a public hearing to stop the pavement plan. Further, the County’s Park’s Master Plan must be revised so Dimple Dell planning and maintenance occurs with preservation, and not development, as the priority. Sign and share this petition. Contact your Salt Lake County and Sandy City elected officials at 385-468-7500 to tell them you oppose paving the park!
Like our page on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/dimpledellpreservation/
Reasons We Oppose Paving Dimple Dell:
1. Cost. $4.5 M is an exorbitant cost to taxpayers. The high construction cost will be eclipsed by undisclosed future maintenance cost because the sandy terrain and steep grade of the park will not support pavement and will aggravate erosion. Petroleum-based asphalt is not a sustainable surface for the canyon’s hot summers and freezing winters. It will require constant maintenance to shore up the steep, soft hillsides to prevent the roadway from becoming a crumbling eyesore.
2. Environmental Impact. Wildlife such as deer, foxes, coyotes, rabbits, and birds will be displaced, stressed, and disturbed by construction. Delicate wild flora such as the sego lily will be uprooted and killed. Wildlife and horses cannot travel safely on asphalt hills, especially when competing with fast moving downhill traffic. Current wood chip trails are more compatible with ecology of the low impact use of the park’s Master Plan.
3. Archeological Impact. Several delicate archeological sites have been discovered in Dimple Dell, most recently in 2015. These sites have been the subject of university studies and national media attention. The Park likely holds untold treasures that should not be disturbed by construction.
4. Only a Few Parks Allow Horse Access. Equestrians have only a few choices for trail riding in Salt Lake County public parks. Horseback riders come to Dimple Dell year-round specifically because the trails do not border traffic or bike routes. The wide wood chip trails, especially the North Rim Trail, is among the most popular trail in the park because it allows for safe encounters between horses and slow paced hikers, dog walkers, off-road cyclists and other users.
5. Inevitable Conflict and Danger Caused by High-Speed Road Users. Road bikes, scooters, skate boarders, and other fast-wheeled downhill travelers on steep terrain will require expensive enforcement and park control to protect slower paced walkers, families, senior citizens and equestrians. Draper’s Corner Canyon multi use trail conflicts provides a preview of problems that will flood into Dimple Dell.
6. Cyclists Already Have a Preferred East-West Route Along the Park. Cyclists use Sego Lily Drive to ride east to west parallel to the park. Adding a paved trail for bike users inside the park would duplicate the adjacent Sego Lily bike lane. Sego Lily Drive has one of the widest designed bike lanes in the Salt Lake Valley. Avid cyclists tend to avoid “paved bike trails” because of congestion from walkers, strollers, skateboards and other users that increase the risk of accidents.
7. Dimple Dell & Nearby Hidden Valley Park Already Have Adapted Use Access. Dimple Dell has a large adapted ADA compliant area at the Granite Park Trailhead with its level paved trails, handicapped accessible restrooms, and ample parking. The Wrangler Trailhead at 1300 East also has a paved trail that leads to picnic tables with a scenic overlook. Further, the nearby Sandy City Hidden Valley Park has even more extensive paved trails in a rugged mountain setting very similar to the Dimple Dell experience. The steep slopes of much of the North Rim Trail could not be made ADA compliant without invasive excavation, leveling, and reinforcement of the delicate terrain. The ADA does not require every public space be equally accessible by people of different abilities, especially where alternatives already exist.
8. Safety & Enforcement. Paving Dimple Dell will increase park use exponentially. Along with people who enjoy nature, a paved road will invite illegal criminal activity like what occurs on the Jordan River Parkway. Both Sandy City and Salt Lake County have jurisdiction in the park but you seldom see a law enforcement presence. Who will respond when public safety emergencies occur and who will pay for the increased police and fire response needed?
9. User Preference. Runners, hikers, walkers, snow shoers, cross-country skiers, mountain bikers, senior citizens and dog walkers come to Dimple Dell’s North Rim trail for its non-paved trail system. Naturalists, hiking clubs, student cross country running teams and athletes of all abilities choose Dimple Dell over other paved parks because it offers a healthier low impact surface that is hard to find in urban areas. Dog’s paws are not burned in the summer and horses do not slip on the wood chip trail. Overall, recreational users prefer a natural trail surface to asphalt!