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Posts tagged ‘nature’

Explore the Jordan River Parkway

by SLCgreen intern Atticus Olmedo

From Bear Lake and Antelope Island to Timpanogos and Goblin Valley, Utah is a hotbed for hiking trails and natural excursions. But for many, the Jordan River Parkway doesn’t immediately come to mind as a prime recreational destination. This may be a result of the Parkway’s location, locked between the suburban enclaves and urban centers. But don’t be fooled. People, organizations, and governments have rallied behind the Jordan River Parkway’s potential with a vision for sustainability.

And this month is all about celebrating the Jordan River with a month full of activities. Let’s dig in!

The Jordan River System

Thousands of years ago when Lake Bonneville was receding, the river wound its way through ancient sediments left by the prehistoric lake. Eventually, the river helped establish pond and wetlands. Today, the Jordan River flows approximately 50 miles from Utah Lake north towards the Great Salt Lake’s wetlands. The river is primarily fed from the creeks that travel through the Salt Lake Valley.

The ecology of the river has evolved considerably. Because the river collects water from streams throughout the valley, it also collects pollution and detritus. However, thanks to restoration efforts, the parkway and river have become more hospitable for natural and recreational use.

The river is lined with deciduous oaks, aspens, willows, and cottonwood trees. Invertebrates provide an important source of food for other river species, particularly native carp and trout. Prior to urbanization, coyotes, big-horned sheep, wolves, and mule deer made the river their home. Now, raccoons, red foxes, jackrabbits, and common muskrat can be spotted in the habitat. Birds including magpies, sparrow hawks, and even pheasants are also common.

A bike trail along the parkway

Nature in our Backyards

For the fitness and nature enthusiasts alike, The Jordan River Parkway Trail offers a low-cost fitness and natural excursion option to locals who may not have the means to access far away wildlife areas.

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Summer is Here! Review the 7 Leave No Trace Principles

Liberty Park

Summer is here and with it a nearly endless offering of entertainment options! From grilling in the park and attending concerts and festivals, to hiking, running, and biking on local trails, there are many ways to get outside.

But while you’re out there, remember to take care of our natural spaces– both in and outside of our city!

The Leave No Trace principles aren’t just for going in the backcountry. They should be applied everywhere— including our local parks, gardens, and canyons.

Using these principles helps keep human impacts to a minimum and ensures access to these places and activities will be around for many years to come.

Leave No Trace is more than just packing out trash

Leave No Trace has developed a simple platform that has helped millions of people learn how to protect and respect the outdoors. The Principles are based on respect for nature and other visitors — and they are supported by scientific research.

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Mayor Becker Launches SLC Kids Explore Challenge to Salt Lake City Families

Go, Seek, Discover: 30 Minutes in Nature for 30 Days

SALT LAKE CITY – Mayor Ralph Becker launched the SLC Kids Explore program on Thursday and issued a challenge to local youth (and their parents) to spend at least 30 minutes a day outdoors connecting with nature for a 30-day period. SLC Kids Explore was designed to create exciting new outdoor opportunities for students and to raise public awareness about the enormous health and societal benefits of spending time in nature.

“Our children benefit enormously from spending more time in the outdoors,” said Mayor Becker. “Our goal for the SLC Kids Explore project is to create and instill a passion and appreciation for nature in our kids through outdoor play and educational experiences. Salt Lake City is home to one of the most beautiful natural settings in the country and it’s important we pass on our enjoyment and benefits of getting outdoors, and a sense of stewardship, to our children.”

A directory of free nature activities is available on the new public calendar at www.goseekdiscover.com with suggestions on different ways families can get active while having fun and exploring new dimensions of Salt Lake City. Participants can post their activities, share stories and earn activity pass rewards for themselves and their families.

An important element of SLC Kids Explore is to lay the groundwork, through education and outdoor experiences, to cultivate the next generation of local environmental stewards. These young people will certainly be tasked with addressing the increasingly devastating effects of climate change and the mounting pressures on ecological balance. For many Salt Lake City children, more contact with nearby nature, surrounding mountains and parks will literally open up new vistas with lifelong impacts.

Spring is Here! Think Green.


sprouts

Spring is here! Now is a great time to think green. Your backyard is a great place to grow a variety of fresh and delicious fruits and veggies this spring, summer and fall. Check out the resources below to make the most of the 2013 growing season.

What is your potential?

SolarContourMapBook_Page_07

Have you ever wondered how much food you could grow in your yard if you took the time to garden? Through the Community Food Production Mapping Tool, you have the ability to not only click on your property to find out  an estimation of its food production potential, but you will also be linked to resources that will educate and empower you to grow more food.

Salt Lake City can also provide an annual calendar of solar radiation for your property. Sample solar book (PDF). Residents are encouraged to use the grid lines to plan their garden beds for optimal sun exposure. Simply email slcgreen@slcgov.com to request your book.

Understand your soil

The heart of your garden is the soil. Whether you garden succeeds or fails, is directly related to your soil, the micro-organisms that live in it, and the organic matter they feed off of. Join Wasatch Community Gardens for their ‘Know your soil’ workshop in April, or get some tips from Organic Gardening.

Grow your own seedlings

Many gardeners have never tried to grow their own starts from seed. Here are some tips  from Organic Gardening to simplify the process.

Fruit trees

Our friends at the USU Extension in Salt Lake County have two upcoming classes that will help you learn how to make the most out of your fruit trees:

Do you have excess fruit every year that inevitably ends up in the compost? Sign up for the Salt Lake City Fruit Share Program and volunteers will help you harvest your fruit. You will keep 1/3 of the harvest, the volunteers will take 1/3 and the final third will be donated.

Gardening Workshops

Whether you are a beginning gardener just getting started, a seasoned grower looking to learn some new organic techniques, or practically a professional looking for something new to grow, Wasatch Community Gardens has a class for you.

Some upcoming April classes include:

Learn more

Salt Lake City Green has a wide variety of resources on sustainable food in Salt Lake City available at www.SLCGreen.com.