All that marks where the drainages of Red Butte, Emigration, and Parley’s Canyons enter the Jordan River are two concrete pipes that jut out as 1300 South abruptly ends. The confluence has been paved over, replaced with concrete and asphalt. Private property encroachment abounds. At this location, these creeks deposit snowmelt, runoff, sediment, and pollutants from almost 100 square miles of Salt Lake City.
The Seven Canyons Trust, in partnership with Salt Lake City and the Jordan River Commission, is working to daylight 200 feet of waterway at the Three Creeks Confluence. The goals of the project include expanding green infrastructure solutions to water quality impairments; enhancing the ecological value of the site and reactivating the neglected area; diversifying active transportation and recreation opportunities; and creating a gateway to the Jordan River for nearby community anchor institutions, schools, and the surrounding neighborhood.
During initial analysis of the seven creeks, each creek was mapped from headwaters to confluence. A series of creek flyovers were created. It was noticed that three creeks ended at the same property, 1300 South and 900 West. The project became to be known as the Three Creeks Confluence. Highlighted as the centerpiece of 100 Years of Daylighting, the Seven Canyons Trust presented the project to former Salt Lake City District Two Councilmember Kyle LaMalfa in 2014.
With the acquisition of a $70,000 Community Development Block Grant, Salt Lake City Parks and Public Lands completed the community engagement and design of the project. Three community workshops were held to gather feedback on the overall project, three design concepts, and, finally, the preferred design. Another Community Development Block Grant for $550,000 combined with $725,000 of Salt Lake City Parks Impact Fees and $25,000 from the Jordan River Commission will fund the construction of the preferred design. In 2017, this project received a Utah Chapter of the American Planning Association Outstanding Achievement award for its design and community engagement process.