Group seeks community input for proposed westside park and trail

Map of the proposed Folsom Trail. Image courtesy Salt Lake City.

Multiple organizations are coming together to turn a neglected light industrial and residential area to an amenity rich, mixed-use corridor.  Seven Canyons Trust and Restore North Temple are joining University of Utah Westside Studio students, to host a community outreach session to hear from the area’s residents on their vision for the Folsom Trail, a proposed off-street pedestrian and bike path that would connect downtown Salt Lake City to the Jordan River Parkway Trail.

City transportation officials in collaboration with the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake have set aside partial funding the for the construction of Folsom Trail.   The purpose of the outreach session, planned for Saturday, April 22 is for students of Westside Studio to share research they’ve gathered over the past few months and gather community feedback on ways to incorporate park amenities and the daylighting of the City Creek into the design and construction of the Folsom Trail.

“We want to have community engagement and build awareness of the project,” said Brian Tonetti, the executive director of the Seven Canyons Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to daylighting (freeing buried rivers and streams) and restoring Salt Lake Valley’s seven largest creeks.

Under the University of Utah’s Westside Studio, students from the College of Architecture + Planning research issues related to community development in collaboration with neighborhood and community groups west of State Street.  Past student projects include the creation of the River District along North Temple, enhancements to the Jordan River Park and placemaking in the 900 South and 900 West community node.

Renderings of the Folsom Trail Corridor as pictured in the North Temple Boulevard Plan. Image courtesy Salt Lake City.

According to Tonetti, Saturday’s outreach will be the first of several future community outreach events led by Seven Canyons Trust.  Feedback from Saturday’s event will be incorporated with the student created data which will serve as a launching point for the Folsom Trail Corridor.

“The city has the funding for the project but it is tied up in a Tiger Grant and won’t be ready until 2018,” said Tonetti.

City officials estimate trail construction will cost around $1.6 million while green space and park amenities are expected to cost between $5 million to $10 million.

Because the physical trail is the only component with secure funding, plans for daylighting City Creek and adding green space will be designed with the trail in mind so that construction can begin once funding is in place.

Feedback from residents and other stakeholders will lead to an eventual final design for the Folsom Trail Corridor that will be incorporated into the city’s plans for the corridor.  The project will be split into two phases, the first of which includes the design and construction phase.  The city anticipates the project’s design to finalized by 2018 with the construction of the trail to start that same year.  The second phase will focus on expanding amenities and daylighting City Creek.

The Folsom Corridor is in the RDA’s North Temple Project Area.  The RDA intends to have the trail and greenspace serve as a catalyst for development around Folsom Avenue between 500 West and the Jordan River.

Click here, to learn more about Saturday’s outreach event.

Photo simulation of potential development along the Folsom Trail Corridor. Image courtesy Salt Lake City.

Posted by Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at