Volunteers meet for annual Earth Day clean up in Dimple Dell ParkMay 24, 2021 03:03PM ● By Heather Lawrence
Volunteers meet to help clean up Dimple Dell Park on April 24. (Joyce Walker/DDPC)
By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]
The fifth annual Earth Day cleanup of Dimple Dell recreation area was held April 24. The event was organized by the Dimple Dell Preservation Community, and 250 volunteers showed up on the windy and chilly Saturday to clean up the park.
“We weren’t sure how attendance would be and how people would still be feeling during the pandemic. Last year’s event was virtual. But we had such an outpouring of support from the community,” said Joyce Walker of the DDPC.
Volunteers included residents, government employees, Girl Scouts, a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints young men’s group and the Sandy City Police Explorers.
“Dimple Dell Regional Park covers a large area of the canyon. We started at the Wrangler Trailhead, which is near the Smith’s at 10401 S. 1300 East. Our main jobs that day were to haul out garbage and clear weeds and debris from winter,” Walker said.
Walker said that they hauled out thousands of bags of garbage at the 2019 cleanup event. She saw less garbage this year, which she believes means people are taking better care of the area throughout the year.
“It’s wonderful. I think that people are becoming far more aware of the treasure that Dimple Dell Park is. They’re treating it with far more respect. We’ve seen a decline in graffiti and noticed that people are removing more weeds,” Walker said.
The Dimple Dell recreation area is managed by Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation. Patrick Leary, associate director over outdoor parks, spaces and trails said it’s the largest regional and natural park in their care.
“The park is almost 672 acres, so it’s a massive job to keep that place in as good of shape as it can be for everyone, but obviously that’s the goal. I came at the tail end of the Earth Day event, and I want to say a big thank you to everyone who volunteered and the DDPC and Advisory Board,” Leary said.
Leary encourages people to be respectful of the park as a public space when they use it. “We’ve seen record numbers of people using our parks and open spaces. We do our best to keep the area in good shape, but we ask people to be respectful and responsible.
“Please clean up after your pets and be cognizant of other users or the park. We want to have the experience be as good as it can be for everyone,” Leary said. Leary also said that a full-time employee has recently been assigned to the park.
Dimple Dell has trails for walking, biking and equestrian use. Near 3000 East is the Muir-Poulsen Home, a historic house with an orchard in the yard. Efforts have been made recently to clean up and revitalize the orchard.
Sandy Police Explorers, a group of young people interested in law enforcement, were assigned to clean up trash and winter debris near the historic Muir-Poulsen house at the northeast area of the park.
“The Sandy Police Explorer Post 9550 and their advisors spent several hours assisting with the Dimple Dell Cleanup. The Explorer Post Cadets recognize that the Dimple Dell recreation area is a wonderful amenity in our city, and want to help keep it clean for citizens to enjoy,” said Sgt. Clayton Swensen of Sandy City Police.
Girl Scout Troop No. 2483, led by Audrey Maynard was one youth group that came to help out. Another group from the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Eastdell Ward helped for about two hours earlier in the week. One of the teens in the group, Mark Ross, helped organize their effort.
“Our quorum leader was contacted by Joyce Walker asking for some cleanup help. We decided that it would be a good service opportunity for our weekday activity, so we went the Wednesday before the cleanup.
“There were three of us there clearing away dead branches from the orchard. I’ve been to the Dimple Dell area before, but not that part,” Ross said.
Ross said the work wasn’t too difficult, and he liked working on a project that was good for the whole community. “It’s a service project that doesn’t just affect one or two people; it’s in an area everyone can enjoy. It feels good knowing I helped make it usable for other people. It was pretty fun, so we might do it again,” Ross said.
Other volunteers cleared out Scottish thistle around the pond and stream. Representatives from Sandy Public Works had information on water conservancy. Walmart donated water, snacks and sunblock for the volunteers.
“It was a great community effort by so many people. So many good people in Sandy came out and gave a big part of their Saturday to be good citizen stewards,” Walker said.
If people are in the area and see anything that needs attention, Walker said a quick picture with a geo tag or pin and a private Facebook message to the DDPC helps them a lot. “Trash, large patches of invasive weeds or graffiti are all things we need to quickly take care of,” Walker said.
On occasion, people have also found animal traps, which are illegal, set in the area. Those should be called in immediately as they pose a danger to wildlife, pets and people.
“We so appreciate the countless hours that volunteers have given. We hope people will continue to enjoy the park, learn about its history and be good stewards,” Walker said.