New art installation aims to reduce wildlife collisions on SR-224

PARK CITY, Utah — A new art installation set to reside on the side of SR-224 aims to reduce the number of wildlife collisions on the busy road, and look good while doing it.

Elk and other wildlife cross SR-224 by the McPolin Farm hundreds of times a year making it a hotspot for both animal activity and tragedy. According to a 2020 study released by the Utah Department of Transportation, this stretch of road was the 5th worst spot for vehicle/wildlife collisions in the state of Utah.

“Our Elk Herd” was donated to Park City by the local nonprofit organization Save People Save Wildlife (SPSW), which was founded in 2015 with the mission to
to reduce or eliminate vehicle wildlife collisions.

“Their purpose is to raise awareness of our elk herd on to 224 and alert drivers that it is their responsibility to slow down for wildlife to avoid wildlife collisions in this area,” Lorelei Combs, vice president of the SPSW board, said. “Specifically where our elk herd is constantly crossing 224 from the Quarry Mountain site to the meadows of the McPolin Barn area where they sleep overnight. We’re hoping that their addition to our landscape in Park City will be art for awareness.”

Designed by Jackson, Wyoming-based artist Bland Hoke, Our Elk Herd consists of two reflective elk statues, each standing 9 feet tall and 9 feet wide. The art installation received final approval from the Park City Council at its meeting yesterday, and is set to be installed west of the McPolin Barn shed in the spring.

“We’re very, very excited to donate the two elk silhouettes, and and it’s important for our organization to let the public know that they’re being offered not just by Save People Save Wildlife, but on behalf of the community, of all the concerned citizens who’ve donated money for their creation through our nonprofit Save People Save Wildlife,” Combs said.

From left: artist Bland Hoke, SPSW board members Lorelei Combs, Erin Ferguson, and Tom Farkas pose with an "Our Elk Herd" sculpture.
From left: Artist Bland Hoke and SPSW board members Lorelei Combs, Erin Ferguson, and Tom Farkas pose with an “Our Elk Herd” sculpture. Photo: Lorelei Combs

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