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Mayors of Utah County: Celebrating and preserving Utah Lake in Saratoga Springs

By Jim Miller - Special to the Daily Herald | Sep 16, 2023
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A boater recreates on Utah Lake with American Fork Canyon in the background as seen from the Saratoga Springs Marina on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020.
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Jim Miller

The city of Saratoga Springs has undertaken ambitious initiatives to clean up Utah Lake and revitalize its surrounding areas in a way that celebrates the lake’s significance in Saratoga Springs’ heritage. Recent projects include the completion of critical Lakeshore Trail segments, a new jetty and beach area for nonmotorized recreation at the city’s South Marina Park, and preliminary site and lakeshore improvements at the city’s new North Marina property.

Saratoga Springs, in collaboration with Utah County, the Utah Lake Authority, the Utah Division of Natural Resources, the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation and the Utah Division of Water Quality, has been diligently funding a variety of projects that address water quality issues such as stormwater pollution and invasive species while simultaneously delivering first-class recreational amenities to its residents.

The city of Saratoga Springs boasts more than 9 miles of lakeshore and recently finished phases of the Lakeshore Trail provide residents and visitors with ample opportunities for hiking, biking, jogging and birdwatching. The city has received funding of approximately $2.5 million from a combination of federal and state grants and anticipates being able to complete the last two trail segments over the next 12 months, which includes a segment from the SSD Marina to Sunrise Circle and another from Eagle Park to just past Amanda Lane. As part of the trail project, invasive plant species along the shoreline will be removed and the habitat improved for native birds and raptors along the west shore of Utah Lake.

In addition to the Lakeshore Trail, significant improvements are planned for the city’s South Marina Park. This ambitious project aims to completely landscape and add amenities to the entire 10-plus acre property to create an inviting recreational space for families, friends and visitors. A new jetty was installed and the swimming area was dredged over the last year. Designs for the upcoming and final phase are nearing completion. Plans include additional parking, a sand beach, pavilions, equipment rentals and additional restrooms.

In parallel with the South Marina Park, the city has taken commendable strides in the revitalization of its North Marina property. This picturesque 20-acre property was acquired by the city in early 2020 and enhancements here have focused on preserving the natural beauty of the surrounding area while creating accessible spaces for residents to enjoy. The city has secured more than $3.5 million in funding with the goal of making it a top destination for outdoor lovers and a key feature in the city’s tourism and recreation appeal. Dredging of the existing marina is nearing completion and the city anticipates being able to provide parking and restroom facilities with the current funding available. Future plans include a new jetty, boat ramps, dock expansions, pavilions, a sandy beach area, upgraded fishing piers and much more. These upgrades will not only bolster local tourism but also increase public interest in Utah Lake and foster a stronger sense of community.

As Saratoga Springs continues its quest for preserving the natural beauty of Utah Lake and its surrounding areas, the city’s dedication to preserving and enhancing public spaces remains unwavering. With the Lakeshore Trail already transforming the lakefront experience, and further developments on the horizon in the South and North Marina regions, Saratoga Springs is setting an example of balancing the stewardship of Utah Lake and recreational allure.

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