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Salt Lake City’s newest park is now open — see where three creeks meet on the west side

Tributaries buried a century ago see daylight again in a new green space along the Jordan River Parkway.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Three Creeks Confluence Park marks Salt Lake City’s newest park as it opens Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in the Glendale neighborhood.

Salt Lake City on Wednesday unveiled its newest park, located where three creeks meet the Jordan River on the west side.

Three Creeks Confluence Park was created in the Glendale neighborhood after unearthing Red Butte, Emigration and Parleys creeks, which had previously been channeled underground to tame nature and facilitate urban development in Utah’s capital.

At a news conference marking the park’s official opening, Mayor Erin Mendenhall called the space a “100-year vision.”

“It’s because we buried these creeks 100 years ago,” Mendenhall said, “and it’s going to take us 100 years to [fully] unbury them.”

Three Creeks Confluence Park marks the start of that unburying, an effort spearheaded by a group of college students in 2014. The movement spurred the creation of Seven Canyons Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring the Jordan River’s seven tributaries running through the Salt Lake Valley.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Three Creeks Confluence Park marks Salt Lake City’s newest park as it opens Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in the Glendale neighborhood.

“There are riverwalks around the country,” said Kyle LaMalfa, a former City Council member from the west side and current chair of the Seven Canyons Trust (and Mendenhall’s spouse). “But we’ve got something they can’t even touch, which is a string of nature along our river corridor — places where you can stop for a moment and forget that you’re in a city.”

The new park, located on the Jordan River Parkway at 950 W. 1300 South, is the latest gem on the river’s strand of green space.

Officials called the $3 million city-funded project an important link connecting the city’s east- and west-side communities.

Council member Dennis Faris, who represents neighborhoods like Glendale and Poplar Grove, thanked the mayor for her initiative to invest in the west side, “as well as finishing a space like this that rivals any space in the city.”

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kyle LaMalfa, a former City Council member from the west side and current chair of the Seven Canyons Trust, and husband of Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenha, talks about his involvement in the creation of the Three Creeks Confluence Park, an idea first brought to his attention by college students in 2014. Salt Lake City’s newest park was on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in the Glendale neighborhood. ,

The space was previously riddled with trash, abandoned cars and a burned-down house. A large pipe dumped water from the three creeks into the river. Now, with the creeks seeing daylight again, the park includes bridges, banks to fish or enjoy the water, as well as a play area with repurposed logs from the many old trees downed by last year’s hurricane-force windstorm.

“I’m just really excited to be able to explore this area,” Faris said, “and experience what we’ve built here.”

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Aaron Benzon, natural lands supervisor for Salt Lake City trails and natural lands division helps plant shrubs as part of the new Three Creeks Confluence Park on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in the Glendale neighborhood.

The new park will play host to a grand opening celebration Friday with live music, beer, food trucks, a Native American dance and drum performance, and other activities from 5 to 9 p.m. For more information, visit sevencanyonstrust.org.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Katherine Maus, Salt Lake City Parks and Public Lands planner, left, and Salt Lake City Arts Division Director Felicia Baca plant shrubs at Three Creeks Confluence Park for the official opening Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in the Glendale neighborhood.


(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall joins others for the opening of the Three Creeks Confluence Park on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in the Glendale neighborhood.

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