Funding Case Study: Salt Lake City

Relatively easy access to federal public open space is a leading attraction for new residents of many fast-growing Western communities. But as these communities grow, their residents are learning that it is one thing to be able to reach a national forest for weekend recreation and quite another to enjoy daily access to close-tohome parks and open space. In 2006, leaders in Salt Lake County—home to Salt Lake City, Park City, and a dozen other burgeoning communities along the Wasatch Front—realized that growth and rising land values were outstripping the county’s ability to acquire land for the parks and open space new residents will need. With TPL’s help, they polled residents to test support for a $48 million bond issue and, buoyed by the results, placed the measure on the November 2006 ballot, where it was approved by 71 percent of voters. Half the money will go for land for future parks and half for open space, wildlife habitat, and trails.