Midway Landowners Given Information On How To Preserve Land Using The City Open Space Bond

Midway landowners were invited to a meeting last week to find out how to preserve their land using the $5 million open space bond the city passed in November.

Midway’s Open Space Advisory Committee Chair Courtland Nelson estimated around 40 individuals came to the meeting last Thursday. All residents in the 84049 zip code were sent postcards inviting them to the meeting, while all Midway landowners with two acres or more were also sent an invitation along with an informational packet. The evening began with an overview from Midway city planner Michael Henke and remarks from Mayor Celeste Johnson. Utah Open Lands executive director Wendy Fisher and Summit Land Conservancy executive director Cheryl Fox both presented at the meeting.

“T he two of them had worked together to kind of arrange that particular part of the meeting. It was basically a primer or some basic information about how a landowner can be assisted by a third party in finding out about their family’s interest in open lands preservation. How the process works. Information about the role of the city as it relates to potentially receiving some of the bonding money. All of that went very well. Many many questions, it took up probably half an hour which we were hopeful for.”    

Nelson says that after the meeting many attendees stuck around and had conversations with Fisher and Fox about potentially preserving their land. Nelson says that landowners interested in preserving land are encouraged to fill out a notice of interest form and return it to the city.

“Then we will communicate with that landowner and answer any questions that they may have at the preliminary step. Then in April we hope to move to more one on one dialogues with those land owners as well as strongly encourage them to work with one of the two organizations that do this professionally or any other individuals that they would like to work with. We are getting our feet underneath us as a committee. We’ve had a number of submittals already I don’t know exactly what the total is, but we have had a number of applications. So, I think we’re off to a good start.”

Nelson said they had over 10 applicants within the day after the meeting but suspected more had come in during the week.

“For those who are residents here in Midway if you received a landowner packet and you have some interest there’s certainly nothing to be lost by putting in your notice of interest. That’s a simple conversation starter and we’d be glad to work with you. I would also mention that next month the Wasatch County bond committee will be having some information about their land owner contacts. That might be another opportunity for residents in Wasatch County who are either in Midway or someplace else in the County to participate also. The Wasatch County bond is more agriculturally based meaning larger pieces of land probably and really looking at that sustainable agriculture.”

Read the original story at KPCW.org.

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.