Kathy Wheadon, president of the Senior Principal Higher Education Studio at architectural design firm CRSA, shared a presentation regarding an update on the Bridal Veil Falls feasibility study to Provo City Council on October 12. Several survey responses have now been collected and forwarded to the Utah state legislature to find out what will happen to the falls.
CRSA is the architectural firm that has been working on the stakeholder study for the past few months and they are also the consultant hired by the state to look into the matter of setting aside Bridal Veil Falls as a state park, state recreation area, state monument, or to be kept as is by the county.
Craig Christensen, executive director of Conserve Utah Valley, said many Utah County residents had a lot to say when Bridal Veil Falls development was considered last year. But since then, many have forgotten it.
To get a better idea of what should be done with Bridal Veil Falls, a public engagement plan was created in which an online survey would be the primary tool to understand what the public wanted. The main focus of the survey was a pledge that brings awareness to all Utahns; it had to be voluntary and not impose any significant burden on its respondents.
Christensen thinks it’s important to know that the future of Bridal Veil Falls is an ongoing discussion and that the public had a voice there until October 25. All comments made before the deadline will be considered and form part of the submission to the Utah State Legislature.
As of October 12, there had been nearly 3,000 survey respondents.
“The survey went well, but 3,000 people out of the statewide population is a bit small. We would like to see the contribution of tens of thousands of people, ”said Wheadon.
Wheadon pointed out that all of the survey results have learned a lot about how people use the location of the falls and how they access it. The investigation was very detailed and thorough, but the ultimate goal was to ask the public what they consider the value of the site to be and what they would like to see in the future of its land use.
“So far the response to the survey has been what we expected ie we love the falls, we love the sights, we have been going for a long time and would like to continue to do so. go, ”Wheadon said.
Some of the bigger questions are: what would change in place for users by putting the scraps in state hands? Will there be an entrance fee if it becomes a park or state monument?
Regan McGreer, a BYU business student, enjoys visiting Bridal Veil Falls specifically during the fall months.
When asked what she thought of transforming Bridal Veil Falls into a state park or monument, she replied, “I think the canyon is fine the way it is, maybe you add. just restrooms or places to sit along the sidewalk. I wouldn’t want people to have to pay to enter this place and I personally wouldn’t go if I had to pay to enter either.
Wheadon’s in-person discoveries were also similar to what McGreer noted.
“A lot of them are at Bridal Veil Falls once a week or at least once a month. Several of those interviewed want the site to remain as it is; particularly underdeveloped, just more amenities that make the visit more enjoyable, like more toilets or more places to sit, ”said Wheadon.
Most interviewees walk away from a state park and are all for leaving the falls as is, she said.
“A lot of people don’t want the fees, but are willing to support the financing of toilets and other amenities. There is significant use and interest in what the future of Provo Canyon may look like in the long term, ”said Wheadon.
At this time, the public can no longer comment on the survey, but the information provided by the studies will be discussed as Utah State Parks plan to present the results to the state legislature later this this month.