- Associated Press - Saturday, February 22, 2020

PROVO, Utah (AP) - A proposed public park and nature reserve on the shores of Utah Lake would provide restoration habitat for ospreys, bald eagles and waterfowl as well as walking trails, fishing spots and bird watching towers.

The 1,000-acre park would be nestled between Provo, Orem and Vineyard on land where Ute Chief Colorow Ignacio Ouray Walkara once brought his tribe to hunt and fish, the Daily Herald newspaper in Provo reported last week.

A coalition of 25 government entities, civic groups and private landowners are working on a proposal they’re calling the Walkara Way Project.

They plan to ask state lawmakers for $5.6 million for the project.

The park has been discussed for a long time and would be a great place for families to enjoy nature, said Doug Robins, assistant director of the Provo Parks and Recreation Department.

“This is great news,” Robins said. “We’re sure excited to be a part of it. We’ll want to make our connection to the trail.”

The plans call for 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) of trails, towers so people can watch bald eagles, and fishing areas and picnic areas. The trails would connect with other regional trail systems. The area where the park and preserve would be created is commonly known as the Powell Slough.

Jake Holdaway, whose family has owned much of the land, said his family will get cattle grazing rights for perpetuity. He said that cows are the best way to keeping weeds from overgrowing. Taxpayer money is now used to mow down the weeds or spray them with weed killer.

Holdaway is planning on building an education center for children.

“This is going to be a place where residents can come and enjoy the land, save money and be educated on the ecosystem,” he said.

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