Shorelands Preserve visitors center turns 10

Monday , June 02, 2014 - 11:53 AM

Shorelands A

William, left, Lucy and Elizabeth Thomason explore the boardwalk at the Great Salt Lake Shorelands...

Standard-Examiner staff

LAYTON — The Great Salt Lake Shorelands helps put visitors in touch with an ethereal part of the natural world, and next week its innovative visitors center is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The preserve itself started decades ago, with the Nature Conservancy’s first land acquisition back in 1984.

“We have pieced the preserve together over the years through many small acquisitions, eventually totaling over 4,400 connected acres,” said Ian Mathias, marketing manager with the Nature Conservancy. “We feel this has been a priceless contribution to the people and natural communities of Utah.”

The Nature Conservancy opened its visitors center on June 19, 2004, which features open-air pavilions, a mile-long boardwalk and self-guided tours. In 2005, the center won a Society of Environmental Graphic Design Award and an Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects. 

“It’s kind of, in a way, our gift to the people and community of the region, because it’s kind of a hard area to access,” Mathias said. “It’s a wetland habitat, which is in between solid ground and the lake proper.”

Located on the Great Salt Lake’s eastern shore, the Shorelands preserve is now an important habitat for around 250 species of migrating birds. The preserve’s visitors center is open to the public year-round from dusk until dawn. It offers outstanding birdwatching opportunities, educational programs and patch programs for Boy and Girl Scouts. For more information, visit nature.org/greatsaltlake. 

Contact outdoors and environment reporter Leia Larsen at 801-625-4289 or llarsen@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter @LeiaLarsen or on Facebook at facebook.com/leiaoutside.

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