Salt Lake County mayor proposes replacing grass park strips with water-wise designs

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. Image:

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 3, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Mayor Jenny Wilson says replacing Salt Lake County’s largest grass park strips with water-wise designs would save the county 5.2 million gallons of water each year.

Wilson unveiled a new water conservation proposal to Salt Lake County on Tuesday, calling for Xeriscaping at least 132 park strips and parking lot islands full of grass. In all, the park strips at 39 county-owned facilities are about the same size as three football fields, according to a news release from the mayor’s office.

“The drought has increased our sense of urgency for water conservation, but that need already existed with Salt Lake County’s growing population,” Wilson states in the news release. “Last year we made a commitment to reduce our water use, and we did. This is one of many long-lasting conservation solutions that will help protect our residents’ quality of life, our watershed, and the future of the Great Salt Lake.”

The park strips proposed for Xeriscaping range in size from about 24 square feet to thousands of square feet, the news release states. The strips consume between 5,000 and 8,000 gallons of water each year, county officials said.

Wilson’s proposal also includes plans to make the sprinkling systems at the Salt Lake County Government Center more efficient by targeting priorities, such as trees.

“This proposal represents a proactive investment in water conservation measures by the County,” Michael Shea, the county’s environmental sustainability director, states in the news release. “We are no longer looking at just cutting back water use but making concrete changes which will help us reduce in the long term.”

Wilson’s proposal to xeriscape 132 park strips and islands comes with a $2 million price tag, though the project would be eligible for American Rescue Plan Act funds, according to the news release.

Salt Lake County residents also can conserve water each year through the Flip Your Strip program. Visit for more information about rebates available for replacing lawn with water-efficient designs.

For more information about Salt Lake County’s water conservation measures, visit


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