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Murray Journal

Murray joins Jordan River Commission to preserve and enhance parkway

Oct 04, 2018 01:59PM ● By Jana Klopsch

The Jordan River Commission will help preserve land near the Jordan River for future generations to explore. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

Murray became the newest member of the Jordan River Commission, after the Murray City Council approved its application in August. Mayor Blair Camp will serve as Murray’s representative on the Commission.

The Jordan River Commission includes of a mix of governmental and non-governmental members working together to enhance, preserve, protect, and responsibly develop the river corridor. Current membership includes 15 cities, three counties, six districts and two state agencies.  

The Jordan River Commission was created by an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement in August 2010. It was created to facilitate regional implementation of the Blueprint Jordan River, to serve as a technical resource to local communities, and to provide a forum for coordination of planning, restoration and responsible development. The Commission has no regulatory or maintenance authority for Murray’s section or any other area of the Jordan River; it acts merely as an advisory group.

According to Kim Sorenson, Murray’s parks and recreation director and alternate representative on the Commission, “All projects and efforts undertaken by the Commission are funded by either grants or private donations. The Commission is a capacity-building organization.”

Blueprint Jordan River is essentially a public vision for the Jordan River corridor’s future. The Blueprint was designed as a public visioning effort to capture the collective imagination of residents to build an appreciation for the important environmental, social and economic role the river has played and can play in the region.

The Jordan River Commission will help preserve land near the Jordan River for families, like this one, to enjoy for generations to come. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

 “They work to increase and improve the member agencies’ ability to implement the projects identified in Blueprint Jordan River, to raise public awareness of the Jordan River corridor and the issues it faces, and to help promote coordination and communication among Jordan River stakeholders,” said Sorenson.    

The Blueprint conveys the “Big Ideas” that are possible and lays out a framework for how those may be implemented over the coming decades. 

Some of those “Big Ideas” include: A 50-plus mile, unobstructed “blue-green” trail from Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake for boaters, cyclists, pedestrians and wildlife enthusiasts. A 7,300-acre linear nature preserve with premier wildlife viewing tours. A return to a more historic river corridor with meanders, wetlands, improved water quality and water flow, and rich biodiversity. Regional transportation access to the corridor, including east-west connecting trails and several new TRAX and FrontRunner stops that bring recreational users to the trail for day-long excursions. Several new “river centers” with recreational-support facilities and dining opportunities in previously industrial areas.

With Murray and Millcreek City’s participation in the Jordan River Commission, every city and county that borders the river are now members of the commission.  

“This will benefit the river corridor and trail system as cities share and learn from each other best practices to protect, manage and improve the corridor. Through the Commission, governments will work together on projects and plans that benefit the entire corridor and residents that live along the Jordan River,” noted Sorenson.

The Commission worked to install wayfinding signs along the Jordan River trail. Signs were installed along Murray’s section of the trail earlier this spring. Sorenson is excited about the future of Murray’s section and what being on the Commission will mean.

“The Commission received approximately $1,000,000 from the State of Utah this year. The Commission is currently determining where the money should be spent to best benefit the corridor. Projects being considered include additional police patrols along the corridor, enhancement of the water (canoe) trail, removal of invasive trees and plants, and repair of damaged or missing asphalt trails.” 

More information regarding the Jordan River Commission can be found online at: jordanrivercommission.com.