The Blueprint Jordan River is the first comprehensive effort to develop a publicly supported vision for the future of the entire Jordan River corridor and an implementation plan to turn the neglected river corridor into a defining amenity for our region. The Blueprint Jordan River visioning process was completed in December of 2008. Through three rounds of public meetings in 2008, around 3,000 residents and local technical experts created this vision for the river and its corridor. This vision is intended to capture the collective imagination of residents and to build an appreciation for the important environmental, social, and economic role the river has played and can play in our region. The results of this Blueprint conveys the “Big Ideas” that are possible and lays out a framework for how those may be implemented over the coming decades.
- Contiguous Lake-to-Lake Blue-Green Trail – completing the approximately 45-mile Jordan Rive Trail and removing obstacles to boating the entire river corridor
- Open Space Preservation and a 20-mile Linear Nature Preserve
- Regional and Neighborhood River Centers – mixed-use villages at developed areas that may include housing, restaurants, river-oriented shops, and small offices
- Enhanced Regional Access – tying the Parkway to transit, bicycle routes, and improved parking
- Environmental Education
The Blueprint outlines seven guiding principles to direct implementation of these Big Ideas:
- Preserve and rehabilitate as many natural river features and functions as possible
- Implement buffers between the River and the built environment
- Rehabilitate and improve wetlands and in-stream habitats
- Replace physical barriers to boating with alternatives that allow for flood control plus water quality, recreation, and habitat improvements
- Manage stormwater on site
- Integrate complementary development design standards into the River corridor
- Encourage regional transportation planning to connect communities to the River corridor
All 15 municipalities and three counties along the river participated. Salt Lake County was the primary sponsor for the effort, and Envision Utah was the facilitator. A majority of the 15 cities have passed resolutions supporting the Blueprint principles.
A critical component to the success of the Blueprint is the long-term implementation of this vision among the various local governments and State agencies that oversee its stewardship. The Blueprint report recommends the formation of a “planning entity” to ensure river-wide implementation of its vision in a cohesive and consistent fashion. This planning entity evolved into the Jordan River Commission.