In October 2000, Rocky Mountain Power/PacifiCorp donated 22.6 acres of majestic canyon property in Cedar City, Utah to create a permanent wildlife rescue facility and nature park.
Nestled between beautiful red sandstone mountains, our goal is to provide a public educational facility dedicated to the environments represented by the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin. The Cedar Canyon Nature Park sits on the transition point between these two unique ecosystems.
This site is the historical site of Southern Utah Power Co. which was built in 1952. Coal Creek flows through the center of the property year-round and includes a waterfall built by the Cedar City Corporation in the 1930’s.
In the spring of 2003 a paved walking and bicycle trail was built through this property with matching funds from Utah Division of Parks and Recreation and Cedar City, connecting the 23-acre nature park to the city’s existing trail system.
Boy Scouts from Utah and Nevada have worked on a number of projects, including rehabilitation chambers, trail improvements, signs and a campfire program area. Each summer the SWF property is host to a free Campfire Concert in the Canyon series showcasing the Nature Park property and local musical talent in Southern Utah.
In 2012, over 320 volunteer hours, a Cedar City RAP tax donation of $15,500, a $10,000 George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation grant, and many other donations were gathered to build and install a 96′ long pedestrian bridge crossing Coal Creek connecting the Cedar Canyon Nature Park trailhead to the existing trail system. This was the creation of our Memorial Bridge.With generous donations from The Home Depot, Utah Recreational Trails Program, Rocky Mountain Power, Geroge S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, Cedar City RAP Tax, Subaru of America and Findlay Subaru St. George, TriMetals Mining Inc., and the Bureau of Land Management, our Information Destination and ADA Restroom Facility was completed in September of 2017. It is located along the existing Coal Creek pedestrian trail just south of our footbridge and west of our campfire program area. Construction began in October 2016 with a Groundbreaking Ceremony. Our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony took place on the 20th Anniversary of the founding of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation. Construction and Development Committee members, retired NASA architect Roy Tryon, owner of Terrapeutic Tractor Services and green builds enthusiast Ben Herring, Environmental Specialist and permits expert Alysen Tarrant, and local General Contractor Roger Thomas from Choice Builders, and a number of other volunteers, donated countless hours of their time and expertise towards this project, saving us tens of thousands of dollars. Additionally, our trail head was paved with hydro-thermal coils installed inside to provide ice-melt in the future, a retaining wall, landscaping and planting beds were built by volunteers using donated railroad ties, and the ground next to the Information Destination was leveled and covered with wood chips in preparation for a picnic area.
We have partnered with the BLM, Southern Utah University’s Garth and Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History, and the Paiute Tribe of Utah to create sister gardens! Funding for this project is currently being provided by Bureau of Land Management Heritage Resources program, Bureau of Land Management Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program, and private donor Deborah Long. The Cedar Canyon Nature Park’s Native Plant Garden project includes raised beds and wicking beds for hands-on planting projects, a large metal arch for native vines, a maze-like butterfly-shaped trail with native plants in a more natural setting with identifying informational plaques, interpretive displays and signage about pollinators, native plants and growing methods, and a native plant greenhouse where native plant starts can be grown to transplant throughout the CCNP and to provide native plants for home gardens and landscaping projects for the public. We are still gathering some funding for this project.
A couple fundraising opportunities are available for this project. These include a $500 donation for a sandstone landscaping stone engraved according to your preference to be placed somewhere among the landscaping of our trail head or among the plants in our Native Plant Garden, or you can choose to sponsor one of the native plants in our Native Plant Garden for a donation of $750. The sponsor’s name will appear on the identifying informational plaque found in front of the native plant. We also have room for a few customized granite or sandstone garden benches in our Native Plant Garden. There will also be various spots throughout the CCNP to add more as it becomes more developed, such as around our trail head, in front of our Welcome Center and Museum of Natural History, near our waterfall, etc. If you are interested in having a customized bench that will be at the CCNP forever, a $25,000 donation will get you just that and you can specify which project you want the remainder of your donation to go towards at the CCNP!
In March of 2018, Gilbert Development Corporation donated a 24ft x 60ft mobile office to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation’s Cedar Canyon Nature Park! This building is being transformed into our First Phase Welcome Center so that the SWF will have a regular presence at the CCNP, allowing us to provide the CCNP with security, begin training more volunteers, educators and wildlife rehabilitators, begin providing our rescue and rehabilitation work on-site, provide regular tours and educational programs, and have office space for our staff. The First Phase Welcome Center will have a porch with steps and a ramp leading up to a double door entrance for easy accessibility, a public restroom inside, a bird of prey feature wall, hands-on and visual educational displays about geology, paleontology, archaeology, native plants and wildlife, a children’s corner, a gift shop, and an office and wildlife triage area for staff. We will also be expanding and paving our parking lot.
We are excited to announce that the Construction and Development Committee is hard at work planning and seeking funding for our next projects as well: Raptor Critical Care Center and Eagle Flight Chamber, Water Wheel, Welcome Center and Museum of Natural History, Reptile House, Aviaries, a variety of wildlife habitats, Historic Reservoir Outdoor Theater and a Waterfall View Bridge!
Volunteers and equipment are still needed to help us with grading, installing educational kiosks, engineering, architectural designs, construction of paths, benches, a stage and pergolas, and the development of a variety of new educational programs at the park. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 435-586-4693.