Salt Lake County Find It
Sugar House Park

Salt Lake County Parks

3383 South 300 East, South Salt Lake, UT 84115 • 385-468-7275

Park News -- January, 2016

October, 2016 --

Big Water Yurt Reservations for 2016-2017

Due to the popularity of making reservations at the Big Water Yurt, a 'drawing' system has been implemented if you wish to make a reservation in advance of the season (which begins on December 1).  Yurt News for Reservation Season 2016-2017

January, 2016 --

County Parks Pavilion and Mill Creek Canyon Picnic Sites Reservations have begun for the 2016 Season

You may now check availability and make an online reservation for County Park pavilions and for Mill Creek Canyon group area picnic sites for the 2016 season.

Go to the ActivityReg Website, select Facility Reservations, click on the "+" sign icon preceding a County Park or Mill Creek Canyon group area name.  Click on the desired name to view its month-by-month availability.

June 2015 --

Avian Botulism Affects Birds at Sugar House Park

Numerous birds have been found dead on along the Sugar House Park pond and other area ponds. Each summer/fall, reports of dead birds are phoned in to multiple agencies, where staff respond and work with Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation, Salt Lake County Animal Services, the Sugar House Park Authority and various volunteer organizations to remove the dead animals and clean the water.

What is Avian Botulism?
  • Botulism is a paralytic condition brought on by the consumption of a naturally occurring toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
  • Avian botulism is found in anaerobic (low oxygen) environments, such as pond sediments.
  • Botulism has increased dramatically in recent years, taking a heavy toll on migratory waterfowl.
  • Due to warmer temperatures and a return to lower water levels, scores of dead birds have begun to appear again around these water areas.
What Danger Does This Pose to Humans?
  • The current condition poses little danger to people since most bird species affected are not typically eaten by humans.
  • While we do not encourage people to touch the birds, you are encouraged to take precautions if handling dead birds by using disposable gloves and washing hands thoroughly.
What is Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation Doing?
  • Salt Lake County Parks is contracted by the Sugar House Park Authority to oversee day-to-day operations and park maintenance.
  • Parks staff is on-site daily to monitor the situation, and 3-4 times per week for cleanup.
What is the Sugar House Park Authority Doing?
  • The Park Authority has been meeting regularly to discuss a potential redesign of the pond, but that process could take two to five years.
  • In the meantime, the authority is meeting to discuss short-term solutions to keep the water healthy and the ducks alive.What Can Park Visitors Do?
  • If you see any dead birds around or in the water, please do not attempt to remove them yourself.
  • Please call one of the following:
    Salt Lake County Park Operations (385) 468-7275
    Salt Lake County Animal Services Dispatch (801) 743-7045
  • Please do not feed the ducks or birds around the pond at the park.
  • Please don't handle the birds, and do not let children or pets play with the birds.

November, 2014 --

Russian Olive Removal at Big Cottonwood East Park

Park Operations is in process of restoring an approximate 2.5-acre site (see removal map) adjacent to the pond in the Holladay Lions section of the park. Since this area of the park was developed in the early 1990s, very few funds and have been allocated to keep the area maintained to its original approved design. The goal of this project is to remove invasive trees and plants and replant native trees, grasses and forbs that will provide food and cover for a wide variety of wildlife. Salt Lake County Park Operations is also committed to a higher service level for this area that will maintain the desired vegetation for future generations.  Extensive growth has taken place in the last 10+ years, see below.


Photo copyright Richard B Young Photography

Big Cottonwood East Late 1990s


Big Cottonwood East Nov 2014

The 2.5 acre restoration shown here is the extent of this phase, and until it has effectively grown in with natives, additional areas will not be treated. 

Ground water levels have dropped significantly since the deep water well on the west side of 1510 East went into production.  The lower water level has allowed vegetation to cover most of the pond surface area and dried up some of the originally planned wetland areas.  We intend to divert some of our water shares from the Big Ditch that will keep the water level in the pond to its original design which is approximately two feet higher than its current level.  The increased depth will create more open water and provide water to the wetland areas. 

Please see the 2008 Approved Master Plan for the park, as well as Salt Lake County's Natural Areas Land Management Plan.

There is also a hard copy at the Park Operation office at 3383 South 300 East if you would like to review it in person.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this park or any other park, please feel free to contact our Associate Division Director, Wayne Johnson at (385) 468-7275 or via email.