Earth Day Event With Kids
This Earth Day I attended the Salt Lake County Health Department's annual Earth Day event. For the event, the Health Department hosts several elementary school classes at the environmental health building in Murray where the kids participate in hands-on activities and learn how they each play a part in being kind to our planet. It was fun visiting with the kids and giving them a quick gardening lesson.
2015 State of the County
Today I delivered my 2015 State of the County address. One of the highlights from my speech is when I had the chance introduce Trista, a young mother who is a resident at the county's Youth Services' Milestone Traditional Living Program. Trista and her one-year-old daughter are examples of why our work matters. The decisions we make today, and how we make them - using data instead of guess work - have real consequences and effect real people. We must take the steps we need to today so we can secure the future of our choosing.
Improving Air Quality
I recently visited
Salt Lake County's Environmental Health building where vehicle emissions inspections are conducted, to announce a program that will take 60 high-polluting vehicles off the road. The Vehicle Repair Assistance Program repairs the cars of qualifying low-income residents who can't afford to make the repairs themselves. Program participant Summer Cox said that when her car failed the emissions test she was shocked to learn it was a high-polluter. Summer said that no one wants to contribute to our bad air, but that we all still need to get our jobs and get our kids where they need to be.
Making our air breathable is a big job that will only work if we all do our part. At Salt Lake County, our clean air strategy means that we incorporate clean air practices in everything we do - from building to energy efficient standards, to using clean fuel alternatives in our county fleet; and, more recently, our wood-burning restriction on yellow and red air days and the Vehicle Repair Assistance Program. It will take many solutions to solve our big air quality problem - and at Salt Lake County, we're doing our part.
SPICE Kitchen Incubator Helps Refugees Succeed In Business
Hundreds of refugees call Salt Lake County home. Many arrive in
Utah with few resources, but come with valuable knowledge of farming and
cooking learned in their home countries. Salt Lake
County teamed up with the International Rescue Committee on the SPICE (Supporting
the Pursuit of Innovative Culinary Entrepreneurs) Kitchen Incubator. This
program supports and trains refugees to provide for themselves using culinary skills
they already possess.
We recently unveiled a brand new facility
that will give SPICE’s refugee entrepreneurs the space they need to
prepare food and develop new skills. Thanks to the support of
the private and non-profit sectors, the new kitchen is well on its way to
having all the equipment needed to be fully functional.
There are currently ten people enrolled in
the SPICE Kitchen Incubator program, and the new kitchen space is enabling us
to expand. Next year, 28 participants will be a part of the program, ready to
SPICE Kitchen Incubator is a stepping stone,
once the participants gain a working knowledge of what it takes to run a food
business, they can set off on their own and be totally self-sufficient.
I’m excited to see the
different businesses that will evolve from this program, and even more excited
to taste new flavors and foods. Visit the SPICE Kitchen
Incubator website to see how you can help.
Park Projects Improving Quality of Life In Salt Lake County
are exciting park projects in the works all over Salt Lake County. This week we
broke ground for the construction of Lodestone Regional Park in what will be a
beautiful spot of Kearns Township.
park includes an open lawn area, two playgrounds, an athletic field, a large
pavilion, tennis courts, pickle ball courts, a basketball court sponsored by
the Utah Jazz and a giant truck tire donated by Kennecott. It will be quite a
park! When it’s finished, families and friends will have a place to break away
from work, school, chores and television and get outdoors.
project and others like it are thanks to the Park Bond that Salt Lake County
residents voted for in 2012. Through it we were able to issue $47 million in
bonds to put directly into community parks and trails. Our county is growing
rapidly, and if we want a future where our kids and grandkids have green space
and places that aren’t just paved over, these new parks and spaces are
essential in our community.