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SANDY — For horse rider Monica Zoltanski, even when it seems like wind can ruin a good day, it's still better than almost anything, especially when she's with her horse, Mr. Biscuit.
Her favorite place is riding the wood-chipped North Rim Trail at Dimple Dell Park in Sandy.
"That's where I ride every day," Zoltanski said. "The thing people love about Dimple Dell is (that) it's unique, it’s wild, it's undeveloped. This is a wild nature preserve, totally pristine."
When Zoltanski heard Salt Lake County had plans to pave the trail, she was stunned. "To say I was shocked is an understatement," she said.
Zoltanski asked other people who use and live near the park and found out not too many of them heard about those plans either. "No one has even known; long-time residents, informed residents, people who are involved with the community,” she said.
Salt Lake County Parks said funds from the recent voter approved parks and recreation bond are allocated for improvements to the trail. Parks spokeswoman Callie Birdsall said paving the trail is part of those improvements.
"We are not paving the entire park,” Birdsall said. “This is a portion, North Rim Trail phase one."
Birdsall also said the first phase is to start making the trail accessible to those who otherwise might not be able to enjoy it. "Our residents in wheelchairs, our residents with strollers, people like that who don't have access to this beautiful, beautiful asset that we have," she said.
Those against paving the trail say they understand mobility issues, but they're worried one paved trail could become several paved trails, which they feel would take away the natural feeling of the place.
“We have paved trails right down here, Zoltanski said. “Accessibility? I’m not buying it because our citizens want this preserved in a natural primitive state like it is."
Zoltanski feels like the portion of the bond talking about paving the trail was intentionally buried in the proposition.
"When I looked at the mailer for the zap bond, it said maintenance for the Dimple Dell North Rim. So, who is going to object to that, I didn't know it was pavement," she said.
Now Zoltanski and others are fighting to keep it unpaved. “There should be some places left in this world where you can go and get your kids dirty, get your boots dirty and really experience Mother Nature," she said.
If the paving goes forward, work could start next year.