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Park City Chamber and Summit Land Conservancy dig in for Miss Billies restoration

PARK CITY, Utah — The Park City Chamber partnered with Summit Land Conservancy on June 11 for Community Giveback Day, focusing their efforts on the beloved Miss Billies conservation easement property. Volunteers from both organizations came together to restore and enhance the land, fulfilling a vision that began over a decade ago.

“Lots of people coming to Park City these days enjoy the open spaces in Round Valley, the views of Iron Mountain and the McPolin Farm, and cherished pockets of green like Library Field and the Miss Billies property,” said Cheryl Fox, the CEO at Summit Land Conservancy. “These lands were all protected by active engagement of the local community and Summit Land Conservancy.” 

Miss Billies holds a special place in Summit County’s history. In the 1980s and 90s, the property was home to a small blue house where Billie Koleman and her husband Ike ran a daycare. Located under a large tree along what was then a bumpy two-lane Highway 224, the Koleman’s daycare was a fixture in the community. Some may remember the kids donned in costume at the annual Fourth of July parade.

As the area developed, with Highway 224 expanding and new developments emerging, Ike and Billie decided to preserve their land’s natural beauty. They sold part of their property to Snyderville Basin Recreation, which became Matt Knoop Park, and the remaining portion to Summit County using open space bond funds. Their goal was to protect the scenic views and provide space for community use, including trails and gardens.

Community Giveback Day with the Chamber and Summit Land Conservancy at Miss Billie's property.
Community Giveback Day with the Chamber and Summit Land Conservancy at Miss Billie’s property. Photo: Summit Land Conservancy

Today, the land once occupied by the little blue house has transformed into the Summit Community Gardens. The Community Giveback Day volunteers worked to maintain and improve the space, ensuring it remains a place of joy, community, and utility for future generations. Fox said that the garden, now flourishing with flowers and greens, is a testament to Billie’s hope that the land would continue to hear children’s laughter. 

“We are so grateful that the Park City Chamber and Visitors Bureau recognizes how important Summit Land Conservancy’s work is to both the quality of life for our locals and the quality of experience for our visitors, and was willing to show their support through their Community Give Back Day,” Fox said.

“Land here is not protected by accident and it’s not protected for free. Summit Land Conservancy saves land, but we don’t do it alone. We had such a great day working alongside our friends from the Chamber and the Community Garden.”

Summit Land Conservancy, founded in Park City in 2002, now protects over 14,000 acres across 57 properties. Their efforts preserve vital lands that filter drinking water, replenish aquifers, sequester carbon, grow food, offer trails, and provide critical habitats for wildlife and people. 

For more information about Summit Land Conservancy and their initiatives, visit their website.

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