The Red Butte Creek Strategic Vision presents a special opportunity for the University of Utah. While college campuses can build or acquire many types of facilities needed for research, education, and outreach, natural resources such as Red Butte Creek are unique features that have no simple analogues or substitutes in the built environment. Red Butte Creek is a valuable campus asset that is currently underutilized, but which could make important contributions toward the campus mission.
At the University of Utah, this potential was first recognized more than two decades ago by faculty such as Dr. James Ehleringer, the founding Director of the Global Change and Sustainability Center. While the creek is currently not well integrated into campus life, there is growing recognition that stewardship and revitalization of Red Butte Creek can create a unique focal point of campus activities, amenities, and identities.
The Red Butte Creek Strategic Vision is a comprehensive plan to transform the creek into a distinctive campus amenity. It represents both the culmination of years of research, teaching, and capacity-building, and the earliest phase of a commitment to reimagine and revitalize a natural amenity here on the University of Utah campus.
The Red Butte Creek Strategic Vision articulates the vision for the creek and its watershed and charts a path toward making this vision a reality. It identifies challenges, sets clear objectives, is based on broad consensus, and proposes actionable solutions. It establishes a framework for the University of Utah to revitalize both the physical and social aspects of Red Butte Creek.
A revitalized Red Butte Creek will require new infrastructure, institutional policies, research and teaching facilities, and funding streams for ongoing operations and maintenance. Success will be a campus-wide endeavor, with roles for students, faculty, staff, and administration.
Stakeholders from across the University have already come together to develop this shared vision. The resources needed to revitalize Red Butte Creek will be vastly outweighed by the benefits of establishing, in perpetuity, an invaluable campus asset.
Read full vision here.