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The City Journals

Parley’s Trail hits a milestone in connecting communities

Nov 03, 2017 01:08PM ● By Aspen Perry

Juan Arce-Laretta and Walt Gilmore cut the ribbon at Parley’s Trail ribbon cutting ceremony. (Aspen Perry/City Journals)

Juan Arce-Laretta, chair of Parley’s Rail Trails and Tunnels (PRATT) Coalition,  welcomed a crowd eager to partake in the ribbon cutting and bike tour of Parley’s Trail.

“I just rode this trail, and it’s a lot of fun,” said Arce-Laretta. 

Community connection was the theme, as each speaker took to the podium on Oct. 17, during the ribbon cutting ceremony held in the Tanner Park Pavilion. 

Arce-Laretta’s jubilation was evident as he announced the project was less than a mile away from completing the eight-mile trail connecting the mouth of Parley’s Canyon and Bonneville Shoreline Trail to the Provo-Jordan River Parkway. 

“The first four miles, you’ll be able to get on this trail and you won’t even have to cross a road,” Arce-Laretta said.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams was the second to address the crowd and spoke of the important role Parley’s Trail will play not only in recreational activities, but for commuters as well. 

In addition, McAdams thanked all who participated in ensuring that the dream of this project became a reality. He included a special shout out to Walt Gilmore, associate division director of planning and development with Salt Lake County for his 15 years of dedication to the project. 

“Walt has truly had a tremendous impact on our community as this trail has come to fruition,” said McAdams.

A broadened sense of community, as well as creating a path to cleaner air was the message of Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski.

“It’s about connecting communities, and our kids, and helping them understand (bike) transportation in this valley will mean a healthier, cleaner, community for you to breathe in,” Biskupski said. 

South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood expressed her gratitude for PRATT’s efforts in getting South Salt Lake residents excited for the possibilities the trail would bring to them. 

“As we speed down to South Salt Lake, I ask that you pay attention along the way… the transformation in neighborhoods,” Wood began. 

As she further stated, “And tune into subtle aspects of this trail and how it is breaking down barriers and closing divides.”

Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini was decked out in biking attire and voiced his excitement in what the trail would mean for the community. 

“I’ve ridden the Parley’s Crossing Trail to commute to work for years, I’m really looking forward to being able to stay off surface streets to get down to Sugarhouse Park, and can’t wait to ride to the Jordan River,” Silvestrini exclaimed. 

In addition to reaching the milestone of the Parley’s Trail, Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation has more projects in the works and recently partnered up with Utah State University to conduct a mail and online survey for the public to provide input on the features they wish to see in their community.  

Clayton Scrivner, news advisory for Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation, is looking forward to receiving community input for future projects.  

“Basically every five years, park needs and trends may change… this is a way to target community needs,” Scrivner said. 

To illustrate, Scrivner used the example of sport trends, as he stated, “Currently, pickle ball has exploded, so we don’t really need tennis courts anymore.”

Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation has plans for two major regional parks, located in Magna and South Valley. In addition, Scrivner stated they plan to build three to five more dog parks in the next year. Citizen input will provide a great deal of insight. 

“This needs assessment… allows us to match our current programming and future investments to the public interest,” Martin Jensen, Parks and Recreation division director stated in the press release announcing the survey. 

Citizens interested in providing feedback via the survey, as well as staying informed of public meetings and current projects are encouraged to