Skip to main content

Midvale Journal

Inaugural Jordan River celebration highlights the work being done to preserve the waterway

Nov 01, 2022 08:07PM ● By Peri Kinder

By Peri Kinder | [email protected]

Flowing through the center of the Salt Lake Valley, the 50-mile long Jordan River has experienced a revival over the last 10 years. As one of the major tributaries to the Great Salt Lake, the Jordan River has become the focus of conservation and preservation efforts.

The Jordan River Commission will celebrate and recognize people and organizations who have spurred the resurgence of the river at an event on Thursday, Nov. 10 from 4-8 p.m. at the new Zions Bancorporation Technology Center (7860 S. Bingham Junction Blvd.) in Midvale.

“It’s going to be a multifaceted event with tours of the parkway, with art, with music, with dinner and recognition of these special contributors to the work we’re doing to improve the parkway and make it more accessible,” said Soren Simonsen, Jordan River Commission executive director. “We want to open up opportunities for education and arts and expression.”

The inaugural event will feature a tour of the Zions campus and Jordan River Parkway, including a bike ride to the Big Bend Nature Reserve. Participants are encouraged to bring their own bikes, although some bikes will be available on site. The tour is free and open to the public from 4-5:30 p.m.

Following the tour, a celebration dinner will recognize Jordan River champions who are dedicated to improving, preserving and restoring the river and the parkway. Tickets are $30 and seating is limited. Ticketing information is available on the Jordan River Commission’s social media pages or at

“We’re hoping this will be a magical evening that focuses on the river in a location that’s really beautiful and overlooks the river,” Simonsen said. “It's a brand new facility and is connected to the Jordan River Parkway.”

The new Zions Bancorporation Technology Center promotes biodiversity and provides additional habitat for the river. Zions has incorporated a bike share program so employees can use the parkway to bike to work. Artwork in the building focuses on the beauty of the area.

During the event, the Center for Documentary Expression and Arts will present photo documentary work created along the Jordan River.

The Jordan River flows through three counties and 16 cities, with each section adding different attractions. Boat launches, nature walks, stormwater treatment and bird sanctuaries have brought attention to the river which connects Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake. Keeping the river healthy is one of the ways to help the Great Salt Lake.

“It’s hard to talk about the Great Salt Lake without talking about its tributaries. Obviously, when you see the really low water levels of the Great Salt Lake and you see the low water levels of some parts of the Jordan River, it’s easy to make the connection,” he said. “We’ve used the focus on the Great Salt Lake to remind people that the Jordan River is part of the solution to what’s ailing the lake. This is a good opportunity to raise awareness about that.”

The event is presented by the Jordan River Commission and Jordan River Foundation, with support from the Salt Lake County ZAP program and Zions Bank. Next year, it will become part of the month-long Get to the River Festival held in September.

“There’s a lot that’s been accomplished and you can see a lot of momentum around the river right now,” Simonsen said. “Every city that touches the river is participating in the commission.”