School Board approves wetland, bike trail project near Jeremy Ranch Elementary
The land around Jeremy Ranch Elementary School will be getting a makeover in a few months as Summit County plans for a major construction project.
To accompany two roundabouts the county plans to construct in the spring, it will be restoring the wetlands around the elementary school and building a bike path for students. The Park City Board of Education approved the county’s Wetland Mitigation Plan and easements to create a new trail at its meeting last week.
The projects are set to begin in May.
The wetland area, which covers about 1 acre, is located north of the school, across the street from Bluebird Lane. Todd Hauber, business administrator for the Park City School District, said the county has been looking at restoring the wetlands for the last few years. The wetlands dried up because the stream that runs through the area, Toll Creek, accelerated over the years. It currently runs through a culvert under Rasmussen Road alongside a pedestrian trail, and it undercut some of the trail.
According to the county’s mitigation plans, it intends to reroute Toll Creek east of the culvert into a new channel. The county will then install beaver dams and berms and plant willow cuttings to slow down the stream so the wetlands can re-form.
The idea is that flora and fauna that left the area when the wetlands dried up will return, Hauber said at the meeting.
“For the school, it gives an opportunity for outdoor science because they can go out and actually see a wetland,” Hauber said.
The district also proposed that the county construct a bike trail for students to use that runs along Bluebird Lane, and the county approved the plan. Hauber said during the meeting that the county received permission from landowners in the area to run a trail from Homestead Road to the school so students can avoid the busy interchanges on Rasmussen Road.
He said the county would provide the labor and equipment, and the district and county would split the cost of the materials to make the trail. Hauber said the materials are estimated to cost $50,000. The Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District is expected to maintain the trail and do snow removal in the winter.
Hauber said the county did not do the mitigation project two years ago because it lacked adequate funding. But now, with funds in place for the roundabout projects, the county is able to do more.
The county would pay for construction costs and maintenance of the Wetland Mitigation Project. The Basin Recreation District will provide up to $30,000 toward construction costs and up to $2,500 each year for five years to monitor and maintain the wetlands, according to financial agreement documents. The county is expected to pay for monitoring and maintenance of the wetlands beyond the $2,500.
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