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Fife Wetland Preserve

The Fife Wetland Preserve

The Fife Wetland Preserve is Salt Lake City’s foremost native restoration effort along the Jordan River. The preserve boasts surprising birdwatching and plant life viewing opportunities, accessible walking paths, and a peaceful atmosphere. Since its creation in 2010, the area has become a beloved nature escape in the city.

Tucked between the International Peace Gardens and the Oxbow Park, Fife Wetland was created where an old railroad used to pass through. Its history can still be seen in the railroad bridges in and out of the preserve. 

Though many community groups, activists, and researchers contributed to the success of the preserve being created—including the Salt Lake County Fish and Game Foundation, Dan Potts, Ray Wheeler, Jeff Salt, and Dr. Ty Harrison—the preserve bears the names of former Utah state senator Fred Fife and his wife, Ila Rose. 

A student surveys the Fife Wetland Preserve
Since 2020, the preserve has been a particular focus for revitalization efforts. The Trails and Natural Lands team, under the direction of botanist Blake Wellard, has propagated native wetland plants from seed collected throughout the region. They were grown primarily in the Parks department greenhouse and then planted with great care within the Preserve. TreeUtah has added hundreds of new trees and shrubs, which are currently flag marked. The Jordan River Commission and Bennion Center at the University of Utah have planted riparian trees along the banks of the river. A list of the known plants and animals of the Jordan River can be found here. And the Natural History Museum of Utah is collecting insect data to monitor changes in the invertebrate community as the plants grow up and fill in. 

Through NHMU's Neighborhood Naturalists program, the local community has helped collect data at the site using the iNaturalist app since 2016. You can help record species diversity at Fife anytime, by taking photos of the wild living things you see there and uploading them to iNaturalist. We will be posting research updates and upcoming events here. To stay up-to-date, join NHMU's Citizen Science mailing list.

If you have questions about the research at the site, please send us an email.

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Humanities in the Wild: Fife Wetlands

Join NHMU entomologist Christy Bills and poet Nan Seymour for a morning River Writing session in the heart of Salt Lake City at the Fife Wetlands.

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