Pioneer Park vision plan includes new mist-producing fountain, signature park pavilion

Feb 3, 2022, 5:00 AM | Updated: 7:45 am
Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City.  Photo courtesy of Deseret News....
Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City. Photo courtesy of Deseret News.

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City released a new plan for Pioneer Park last night.

The Salt Lake City Public Lands Team took the results of a 3,000-person survey to make improvements to the city’s park. They include a new park pavilion, more space for the farmer’s markets, and more trees. There were some big changes to the park just a few years ago.

Those who took the survey reported homelessness and crime in the surrounding area as reasons they don’t enjoy visiting the park right now. 

More trees and a mist-producing fountain

The plan expands the park’s greenery by adding more trees to increase shade and create a canopy/botanic walk space surrounding the park.

“The design preserves 85% of the existing tree count, and adds roughly 90 trees to increase the current tree canopy by 20%,” said Anna Laybourn with the planning firm charged with the park’s design.

There would also be a tree grove at the northeast corner of the park, a conservation garden at the southwest corner, and a pollinator garden at the southeast corner.

In a nod to Utah’s water shortage in the midst of drought, a water-saving mist-producing fountain is proposed as the centerpiece of a signature plaza and event pavilion toward the north end of the park.

Signature park pavilion, new sports facilities

The signature park pavilion would bring a center space to include restrooms, a cafe, a stage, kiosks, and an area for park rangers that would help keep the park safe for families and bring in visitors to events.

A new multi-purpose field is proposed, focused on the southern end of the park to be used for events and concerts, with re-designed sports facilities to include additional pickleball courts. 

An all-ages playground toward the west would feature slides and swings for children, and a fitness circuit for adults. Laybourn says public engagement has brought in the possibility of more basketball courts and a place for skateboarding for future consideration.

Park population boom

The 9.8-acre park serves a community of 5,000 residents and 37,000 employees, but a review of the area surrounding the park shows a big jump in residents. One thousand new housing units are already completed within a 15-minute walk of the park, with an additional 1,000 proposed units nearby.

Construction is slated to begin in 2023 after public feedback has been incorporated.

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Pioneer Park vision plan includes new mist-producing fountain, signature park pavilion