Face-lift will make Liberty Park pond better for birds, humans


Published: May 30, 2014 01:48PM
Updated: May 29, 2014 09:59AM
Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune Information sign at Liberty Park describes the Liberty Lake Enhancement Project. Water has been lowered and fences have gone up up around the Liberty Park lake for a wetland enhancement project . The project will establish an emergent wetland around the lake's edge to promote habitat for birds, improve the appearance, provide education opportunities for visitors and help keep the water cleaner and healthier.

Liberty Park’s popular pond is undergoing an environmental face-lift, courtesy of mitigation funds from an oil spill that scarred the Salt Lake City water feature four years ago.

Crews are constructing a wetland this summer around the lake’s edge, according to a city news release, that will be better not only for birds but also for bird-watchers. They will grade banks, plant native wetland species and install floating islands.

Money for the project is flowing from a settlement agreement in the wake of the Red Butte Creek oil spill in 2010, when Liberty Lake became a catch basin for the crude.

In the end, the city says, the pond will boast improved wildlife habitat, enhanced bird-watching, cleaner water, more educational opportunities and softer, safer banks.