Thunderbird Gardens stewards work to preserve the ‘attractive nuisance’ in Cedar City – St George News
, 2022-07-11 12:21:55,
CEDAR CITY — Multiple agencies and community groups have given their sweat, money and time to preserve Thunderbird Gardens for future generations.
Thunderbird Gardens is located at East 900 South. City manager Paul Bittmenn said multiple agencies steward the area, including the city, the Bureau of Land Management and Southern Utah University.
Thunderbird Gardens is multi-use and provides recreation opportunities for hikers, mountain bikers, disc golfers and others, said Cedar City citizen and CEO of Kidder Communications Dan Kidder.
“It’s a really beautiful resource the city has,” he said. “It’s … (city) property. It’s what I like to call their ‘attractive nuisance.’”
The parking lot, which serves as a gateway to multiple trails, is littered with nails. Kidder has been working to clear these and other debris from the area with the help of the Friends of Thunderbird Gardens Facebook group, which he started with canyoneer Rich Carlson.
Kidder said they used a roller magnet and a rake to clear out an estimated 600 pounds of nails, filling 12 buckets. Additionally, when he was visiting the area for Search and Rescue training he later found all of his tires flattened with 13 nails embedded in the rubber.
Kidder said that many of the nails are leftover from pallet fires, adding that some pallets are made of specially-treated wood that can contain harmful chemicals that are released as gasses when burned. People don’t know what they could be breathing in as a result, he said.
“You have to be a special kind of stupid to build a pallet fire in the middle of a parking lot,” he said.
BLM recreation planner Dave Jacobson said this is a “funny trend.”
“Instead of people hiking back to that usual pallet-burning spot, they’ve just been having fires in the parking lot now,” he said. “We’re trying to get that trend to go away.”
Kidder said he has also noticed juniper trees being cut down, either near frisbee golf targets, possibly to reduce the game’s difficulty, or to build fires.
The volunteer group has had a great turnout for organized cleanups. Kidder said they disassembled fire pits and…
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