By Katie Larsen, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Using Sharpies, pennies, stickers and mini pom-pom balls, Salt Lake City residents voted for the potential fate of Glendale Golf Course and Jordan River Parkway.
The informal voting took place Thursday at Sunnyside Park as the first of eight open houses for the Trails, Parks and Open Land Initiative, part of information gathering that continues Saturday with an open house at Liberty Park.
“That really goes to the heart of our goal for this public outreach program is being able to hear from residents on what they would want to see and from their perspective and what is worth making an investment,” said Art Raymond of the Salt Lake City mayor’s office.
After 3,000 surveys, 3,500 comments and more than 300 community events and open houses, city officials determined Utahns value outdoor recreation, according to ouroutdoorsslc.com. In order to best meet the community’s wants and needs, city officials formed the initiative to let residents decide what they wanted with their outdoor space, Raymond said.
Bicyclist Mary Beacco said she wants a park with enough space for her dogs to roam and more bike trails in Salt Lake, but she and her husband want the golf course to stay.
“He sent me here for Glendale because he loves Glendale,” Beacco said. “And yes, I would be sad to see both of them go, but especially Glendale.”
Salt Lake resident Susan Willardson also wants to avert repurposing the course. Willardson said that “once it’s gone, it’s gone,” and she would like to have a place for her grandchildren to golf that wasn’t expensive or exclusive.
But for Steve Alder, making the best use of the city’s existing open space was important. Alder suggested forming connections between the open areas surrounding the Jordan River Parkway to the trail. He also wanted to use a canal in Glendale for canoeing and use the golf course during the offseason.
“Sometimes golfers are like, ‘Ugh, I shouldn’t have to share this, I paid for this,'” Alder said. “So I think, yeah, that’s fair, let’s help pay for it. The fact that it’s open space is in itself a value.”
The city also presented options for the course and trail. Regional parks were one of the most popular options.
“Looking forward, this is going to be very much informed and guided by residents,” Raymond said. “The agenda is open at this point, so to speak, and it will be determined by our residents in Salt Lake City.”
On Aug. 18, city officials will determine which of the community’s suggestions for city parks, the golf course and river trail will go to bond, Nichol Bourdeaux of the mayor’s office said.
• Saturday, May 16, 11 a.m.–1 p.m., Liberty Park, near main playground.
• Tuesday, May 19, 3–7 p.m., Sorenson Unity Center, outdoor plaza.
• Wednesday, May 20, 4–7 p.m., Lindsey Gardens Pavilion.
• Thursday, May 21, 4–7 p.m., Northwest Recreation Center, outdoor plaza.
• Wednesday, May 27, 4–7 p.m., Forest Dale Golf Course, clubhouse
• Thursday, May 28, 11-2 p.m., Gallivan Center Outdoors Plaza
• Thursday, May 28, 3–7 p.m., Salt Lake City Library Square, outdoor plaza