Guest editorial | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial

Michelle Kerby, Park City

Why is it that we all live here? What made us move here? Why Park City?

I think it’s time we all start asking ourselves these questions as the fabric of our community is at stake. We are growing by leaps and bounds. I couldn’t help but notice this past week locals and others alike speeding, driving aggressively (three deer hit in a short radius) tailgating, running red lights, people distracted by cell phones (probably while lecturing their kids to not text and drive) honking and waving hand gestures while driving.

What exactly is happening here? Did I wake up and relocate to Seattle, L.A. or N.Y.C.? I moved here to get away from that!
N
ow let’s talk about trails. The impact on our trails is huge right now. We are experiencing a huge tourist impact, increased users from Salt Lake and our population in Park City has practically doubled. The local impact our trails has left our trails, and ecosystems feeling exhausted.

Ask yourself how can you keep these trails awesome? Do you know the proper yield protocol when hiking? Who cannot hold their human bathroom breaks when hiking? Does your family donate and/or support http://mountaintrails.org or other recreational organizations ? Do you pick up your dog's poop? Are you willing to pick up other bags that are left behind? If you see trash would you take it and dispose of it?

This is our community, it is up to us and no one else to keep it the wonderful place we all have chosen to live in and be a part of.

Now let's talk about wildlife and living in the wild location. Hard to imagine Park City being wild … but it is! The influx of people on the trails, the lack of in-between season breaks now, all the new construction, lack of water resources have pushed the wildlife into our backyards, on city streets and our county roads. I do feel our county and our city do not do enough to honor and protect what they should, they should use those electric signs all year at both entry points reminding people not only of parking issues, but wildlife too. So drive slow!

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There’s very little signage to encourage visitors and remind locals that we live in a wild place to protect our wildlife “slow down be alert” most often if you’re not speeding or distracted by your phone you’ll see the wildlife before you hit it. It seems like people drive here like they are in a big city. Let me be the first to tell you, you are not in a big city and moved to a place where we try hard to be present even if driving in a Range Rover, Porsche, Tesla or Subaru we are all operating under the same umbrella and need to remember how to live kindly together.

We love Park City, we feel so lucky to live here. We try to support and give in more ways than just money (we do that too). Amazingly it doesn’t have to be much even small amounts make a huge difference, we encourage our development of Sun Peak and our neighbors, visitors and residents to be good stewards or our steep hill of Bear Hollow Drive and Slow Down.

I hope you feel as lucky as we do to have our friends visit us in such a great place and we get to play and live in such a wonderful place.

What can you do to preserve the qualities that made you move to Park City?