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Basin Recreation goes beyond The Fieldhouse and fitness

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — Many folks associate Basin Recreation with one thing or another, maybe The Fieldhouse or perhaps the trails it manages. Basin Recreation is, however, a special organization— literally. It is a Special Service District, an independent government unit with a specific focus; in Basin Recreation’s case, its recreation.

Established in 1986, Basin Recreation owns and manages nearly 2,300 acres of open space and has built and/or maintains over 170 miles of trails. It works with Summit County, state, and local organizations on planning and conservation issues.

“The District’s mission at that time was to be a leader in providing outstanding and diverse parks, trails, and recreational experiences in an environmentally and socially responsible way,” said District Manager Dana Jones.

“To that end, we do a lot of different things. There are a lot of recreation departments, special service districts, and recreation special service districts throughout Utah, but most of them don’t manage nearly the amount of trails and open space that we do.”

The Fieldhouse in Kimball Junction is an 87,000-square-foot indoor facility that serves over 265,000 visitors a year. Additionally, Basin Recreation owns and operates several outdoor park facilities, including bike parks, a skate park, sports facilities, ponds, community areas, and dog parks.

It also has 100 acres in the Silver Creek Village to develop facilities or parks for the growing community there. 

To state the obvious, Basin Recreation manages popular recreation programs, fitness classes, camps, and community events that have grown without pause over the last decade to serve the residents in the area. Thousands of kids enjoy spring break, summer, and winter break camps. While adults enjoy pickleball, mountain biking, Nordic skiing, basketball, and pretty much any other sport you can imagine. 

Beyond recreation, the District oversees 2,300 acres of open space, an extraordinary amount of land in comparison to other special districts. It works closely with conservation organizations like Utah Open Lands and Summit Land Conservancy. In addition to ensuring this land is managed properly, Basin Recreation conducts non-native plant removals and weed mitigation.

“We are in the process right now of installing a greenhouse so we can actually propagate and grow our own native plants for the revegetation of areas that are within our responsibility,” Jones said.

As a special service district, a portion of property taxes of those living within the boundary limits goes to the government entity. 

“I think it’s important for people to know what exactly Basin Rec does, because it’s not just The Fieldhouse,” she said. “We also manage 175 miles of trails. We work in close cooperation with Park City Municipal and Mountain Trails Foundation who own and provide maintenance of another nearly 200 miles. The public gets the benefit of both Basin and Park City for double the number of trails. That’s really unusual for a lot of communities.”

A win-win for Basin Rec and the goats performing weed mitigation at Willow Creek.

Basin Recreation employs over 40 full-time employees and has the capacity for up to 175 part-time and seasonal employees, and recently held its first-ever job fair. The District is always looking to hire so that they can continue providing popular services and camps to the community. Visit the employment website for open positions.

“We strive to provide the best recreational facilities and programming,” said Jones. “And when I say facilities, I mean everything from The Fieldhouse, to our trails, bike parks, dog parks, playgrounds, courts, and open space for the public. Our community is an amazing place to live with high expectations and we are going to keep doing our best to meet those.”

Looking ahead, Basin Recreation is in the throes of its 10-year strategic action planning process, which includes a five-year trails and open space plan.

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