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Hidden Hollow to get Salt Lake City funds for restorations

Tuesday, January 15, 20132361 views

Hidden Hollow is a small park with a lot of support this year. The three acre natural park received $195,000 toward improvements.

The money came from two sources. The Salt Lake City Council approved the first amount in October when the Redevelopment Agency made a request for $35,000 to restore and maintain the park.

The rest of the amount came from the Capital Improvement Program fund. It was approved Dec. 11 as part of the 2013 budget. The CIP is used for major projects and construction above $5,000.

The funding will go toward maintaining the park and installing new lighting to improve safety and visibility. Park maintenance will replace landscaping that was damaged due to construction and natural erosion.

Hidden Hollow, located at 1255 East 2160 South, runs along Parleys Creek and through the Sugar House Commons shopping area. It was once the location of the original Sugar House Park, but by 1985, it had fallen into neglect. Students from Hawthorne Elementary protected the small park in 1990.

Ten years later, Hidden Hollow was granted a conservation easement to Utah Open Lands Conservation Association by Mayor Rocky Anderson. The conservation easement was used to preserve Hidden Hollow Nature Area and the biologically diverse plants and animals that live there.

“What’s amazing about Hidden Hollow is that it’s a truly natural park,” said Executive Director of Utah Open Lands Wendy Fisher.

Fisher was glad to hear about the funding. Conservation of a natural area is important for those who enjoy it now and in the future, she said. This includes the species that call the area home, as well as the people who walk through the park.

The $195,000 is not enough to cover all of the expenses. It will take care of about half the projected amount.

According to Salt Lake City Councilmember Soren Simonsen, the other half of the amount will likely come from one or more private sources.

The Salt Lake City Council and the RDA will be reaching out to organizations for money to fund the rest of the project. If council members aren’t able to find the money within 18 months, they might have to reconsider their initial plans. This could include looking for donations from other sources or scaling back the restoration plans.

“I am hopeful that we will be able to raise it,” Simonsen said. “There is a lot of investment in this park.”

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