Downtown Farmers Market | Salt Lake City | 2018 Preview

Downtown Farmers Market | Salt Lake City | 2018 Preview

Entering its 27th year, the Downtown Farmers Market is one of those events that the city’s residents look forward to all year. Not only is this a beloved event, but it is also one that works to promote and support local farms and small businesses. Distributors who attend the market can offer their products to the public directly.

Downtown farmers market Salt Lake City

Opening Soon

Vendors will begin selling their products at the farmers market starting on June 9. It runs until October 20, and it will take place every Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm. To start the event, coordinators are holding a kick-off party, which is happening May 31 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The kick-off party will be at Squatters Pub Brewery. Tickets are available online.

PC: Dav D Photo

A Peek at What’s Available

The Downtown Farmers Market will have fruits, vegetables, honey, grass-fed meats, eggs and flowers for sale. You can also get goodies like baked treats, sauces, spreads and salsas. Tasty cheese is sold at the market as are nuts and specialty sodas. You can visit the market for lunch while taking home fresh produce and baked goods to make dinner. Non-edible items are also sold at the Downtown Farmer’s Market. Items in this category include handmade soaps, jewelry and decorative glass, as well other handcrafted in Salt Lake items like essential oils from The Original Oil Shop.

The Original Oil Shop at Downtown Farmers Market Salt Lake City

Not Just a Saturday Thing

The Downtown Farmers Market in Salt Lake City has been successful enough to expand. Organizers will be hosting the event on Tuesday evenings from 4:00 pm to sundown. The Tuesday option will start August 1 and end on October 17. While the Tuesday event isn’t quite as big as the Saturday market, you will be able to stop by for fresh produce and food products.

fresh produce at the Salt Lake downtown farmers market at Pioneer Park

Supporting Local Businesses

The Gateway is offering free parking for those who are planning to shop at the market. There is also a produce loading zone, making it easy to buy fruit or vegetables in bulk if you intend to can or are hosting a big party that will feature food. The Downtown Farmers Market is a fun place to spend a few hours. Along with discovering the tasty food items that are available in your neck of the woods, the market will also introduce you to the area’s different products. Head downtown to enjoy a unique experience.

Pioneer Park Improvements | Salt Lake City | Utah | Please Donate

Many of your have heard about the Pioneer Park Coalition’s $300,000 donation to Salt Lake City for Pioneer Park improvements. If you haven’t, you can read more about the money we have committed so far here.

This donation is going directly to this winter’s planned improvements for Pioneer Park, specifically the lighted walkway around a new multi-use sports field.

We are excited and proud that we have been about to accomplish an incredible amount in just three short years. You have helped us create the momentum! But we know that this $300k is just a drop in the bucket. We rely on continued membership and donations to continue to build our vision of a public-private partnership of a park that is the crowned jewel of Salt Lake City.

Pioneer Park Improvements | Salt Lake City | Please Donate

We are modeling our vision for the park off other major cities who have accomplished this. Namely, Bryant Park in New York City and Millennium Park in Chicago. You can read more about our vision in a previous post here.

2017 has been a huge year for our Salt Lake City neighborhood. Think about it. Newspaper headlines dominated by our neighborhood. Elected officials courageously tackling what was previously thought to be a quagmire. Homeless services significantly transforming with the development of three new resource centers and the closure of the downtown shelter. Operation Rio Grande dramatically changing the culture and feel of what has been the city’s most crime-ridden neighborhood. A Medicaid waiver helping thousands of needy Utahns. And major upgrades slated for the park itself this winter.

Again, we are amazed by what we have done in such a short time. We plan to continue our vision in the coming year, working towards a safe, inclusive neighborhood that is inviting to all, 24/7.

Will you please help now by donating to the PPC before year’s end? All donations are fully tax deductible!

Visit our website and donate here.

Thank You, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!

Caputo’s Market & Deli | Neighborhood Spotlight | Pioneer Park Coalition

We love our neighborhood. The Pioneer Park area hasn’t always had the best reputation. We have had some rough years. But we fight through them. We are where we are in huge part due to our good neighbors and businesses who decided that the west side of Salt Lake City would be their home and they planted roots. None as much as Caputo’s Market and Deli located directly north of Pioneer Park.

Caputo's Market and Deli

Caputo’s Market & Deli

When Tony Caputo opened his market and deli in 1997, he says he never considered any other area. The Pioneer Park neighborhood was the perfect location. According to a June Deseret News article,

“We never thought of going anywhere else,” says Tony. “We liked downtown; we liked this part of downtown. You go to big cities, go to the Italian section, they’re always in crummy neighborhoods.”

Caputo’s has been a neighborhood staple ever since, staying solid as new businesses and housing projects grew around him. Three years ago, Tony retired, leaving the business to his son Matt and daughter-in-law Yelena. Matt and Yelena have continued the love and care for the Pioneer Park neighborhood, being active members and supporters of the Pioneer Park Coalition as we work toward our goal of making the Pioneer Park neighborhood inviting for all 24/7.Tony Caputo and family

PC: Deseret News

Caputo’s Offerings

Caputo’s Market and Deli offers a delicious smorgasbord of gourmet food. They offer only the best in cheese, chocolates, and deli meats. From the amazing sandwiches to mouth-watering Cheese Cave, everything is top shelf. But the atmosphere is far from pretentious. Whether you walk in in paint-covered jeans and an old ratty hoodie to a business suit, you fit right in. The market is loud, festive, and is a gathering place for friends, colleagues, and family. Even though he retired, Tony can often be found behind the counter or sitting at a table chatting with customers.

Caputo's Market and Deli cheese cave

Caputo’s also offers many classes for the community. Everything from cheese tasting to chocolate making. Check out a list of their upcoming classes here.

We are so fortunate to have Caputo’s Market and Deli in our neighborhood as a steady cornerstone. It’s so much more than a deli…it shows us every day what our goals for Salt Lake’s west side are and why we are working for our goals. We want to give a huge shoutout to Caputo’s also for their continued activity and support of the Pioneer Park Coaltion.

A New Vision for Pioneer Park | Family Friendly and Inviting to All 24/7

We have examples to follow as we recreate Pioneer Park.

On any given day, visitors and residents of New York City can visit the Bryant Park website and be overwhelmed with the sheer amount and variety of activities going on in the park that day (and night).

A New Vision for Pioneer Park

Frozen fountain in beautiful Bryant Park in NYC

As I sit down to write this blog post, for example, I could hit up Joe Coffee Company for my morning brew or select from a number of other food kiosks.  I could take my kids down at 11 a.m. for Bryant Park Games where we can play board games as a family. After our epic Monopoly match we can head over to the ice skating rink for opening day at noon, grabbing a bite to eat at Breads Bakery on the way. After skating, we can have a battle for the ages at the Ping Pong tournament or visit the Art Cart to utilize the free drawing and craft supplies and take advantage of free art instruction. Ice skating at Bryant Park in NYC provides example to SLC Pioneer Park

I could go on. But this just gives you a taste of a vision. The vision we have for our own Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City.

Movie in the park at Bryant Park in NYC

Bryant Park in New York City isn’t the first to embrace the concept of a publicly owned yet privately run park. And they certainly won’t be the last. But what they do have is a history. Looking at Bryant Park 20 years ago, you would have found a haven for drug dealers and a public bathroom for the homeless. The fountains long dried up and covered in graffiti. If you have visited SLC’s Pioneer Park in the last decade, this may sound familiar.Vision for Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City with Bryant Park example

So what changed? How did Bryant Park go from being a seedy NYC armpit to New York City’s beloved Town Square? It started with a vision. A public-private partnership between elected officials, NYC Parks and Recreation, and local businesses. It started with a commitment; and a group of people saying “This is OUR neighborhood. Let’s take it back.”Bryant Park is an example for Pioneer Park in Utah

This is how we know it can be done. Other examples include Millennium Park in Chicago and Civic Center Park in our neighboring Denver. These cities faced many of the same challenges we now face and they figured it out. They united as a city and rose above it, creating beautiful, thriving parks that are cultural activity centers.

Pioneer Park is uniquely located and positioned to be just as successful as these examples. And we are well on our way. A small taste of the large scale dream we have in mind include the Downtown Farmer’s Market and Twilight Concert Series, both which have found a home in the park and are run by private entities.

Are you ready to join us? Maybe someday soon you can wake up on a Saturday morning and visit the Pioneer Park website to plan out the day with YOUR family.

Contact us to get involved. We would love to have you be a part of the vision!

The Pioneer Park Coalition Applauds Operation Rio Grande

The Pioneer Park Coalition 

The Pioneer Park Coalition in Salt Lake City Utah

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE

Neighborhood Residents, Businesses,     & Advocates Applaud Operation Rio Grande

Salt Lake City, Utah – August 17, 2017

Residents, businesses, and advocates of Utah’s Rio Grande neighborhood support efforts by the State of Utah, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City, and other jurisdictions to combat lawlessness through “Operation Rio Grande.” This operation, which began Monday, is an effort to address crime in the area, while improving the provision of services to homeless residents, including children.

“We have grown sick of the ongoing violence in this neighborhood,” said Susana Clar, a resident. “Finally, we are beginning to feel safe again. I pray that these efforts will continue and that state and local governments are serious about maintaining this presence until this issue is solved.”

State and local officials have told the Pioneer Park Coalition that Operation Rio Grande is intended to last roughly two years and is focused on restoring public order and providing services to people experiencing homelessness.

“I commend law enforcement officials and our state and local governments for responding to our pleas to enforce the law here,” explained local business owner Tiffanie Provost. “We just want the same basic level of safety and decency that exists anywhere else in this state.”

“The children of the Rio Grande area desperately needed this action,” stated Dr. Clotilde Houchon, a long-time advocate for children experiencing homelessness in the area. “Having predators and criminals in the same spaces as kids was a recipe for disaster. I am also encouraged by the Operation’s emphasis on respecting civil rights and getting people the services they need.”

The Pioneer Park Coalition is an alliance of residents and businesses of the Rio Grande seeking to create a safe community and improve services for the homeless.

Operation Rio Grande Update

“We are in this for the long haul.”

Lawmakers and Law Enforcement provide an update to citizens on Operation Rio Grande

It’s a hot afternoon in the abandoned lower level of what was once Dick’s Sporting Goods at the Gateway Mall in the embattled Rio Grande neighborhood of downtown Salt Lake City. The room is filled with over 350 people, including many member of our Pioneer Park Coalition, anxiously awaiting an update on what has been dubbed “Operation Rio Grande,” a three-phase plan to eliminate lawlessness, assist the homeless, return the streets to a family friendly environment, and return businesses to a state of success.

Lawless activity, centered around the blatant drug trade, has plagued the area for years, with the Salt Lake City police department doing their best to combat the problem. Their best efforts, however, have been little more than a bandaid. Without a bigger plan, each “sweep” or “cleanup” of the area has lasted only a week or two before the bad guys moved right back in. Enter “Operation Rio Grande.”

Monday, August 14th, phase one of this 2+ year operation went into effect. Yesterday, August 15th, many member of our Pioneer Park Coalition joined residents, business owners, lawmakers, law enforcement, and other citizens to hear an update from those who have been in the thick of things, especially over the last 17 days. We were able to hear from Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Speaker Greg Hughes, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown, and Public Safety Commissioner Keith Squires.

While each spoke individually about specifics to their department, the underlying themes were the same. First, they are in this for the long haul. They are committed. Second, this is an unprecedented operation with commitment and integration on the city, state, county, and private level, with bipartisanship and cooperation. Why do we not see this type of operation very often, they asked. Simple: It’s hard. But they are committed to the operation and bringing the Rio Grande area back. Bringing people, business, and safety back. Third, they need the public’s help. This is a transparent operation and only with help from the citizens of Salt Lake City and surrounding areas can this be a success.

After the individual comments, the panel addressed specific FAQ from members of the audience. We as the Pioneer Park Coalition were pleased with the quality and thoughtfulness of the questions as well as the answers provided. Transparency and honesty prevailed and we feel like this is an amazing first step to an operation that will benefit us all.

A few Operation Rio Grande FAQ and responses:

Q: What are the specifics of the three-phase plan?

A: The following graphic was provided and gives a great overview of the plan, which will move quickly. The first phase started Monday August 14th and phase two will begin Friday.

356295981-State-officials-Operation-Rio-Grande-Phases-1-3

Q: How can citizens report issues and/or perceived threats in their community?

A: For non-emergencies please call 799-3000. Use your camera on your phone. Take photos and send them to Salt Lake City police. As reports come in, a log is created, people are sent to those areas. In an emergency, of course, call 911.

Q: How will the physical clean-up of the Rio Grande area work?

A: A daily schedule of street-sweeping and cleanup will begin August 16th and continue indefinitely. As a “spidering” effect continues to move the homeless population to different areas and you feel cleanup is needed, please contact the SLC County Health Department.

Q: What is happening to the homeless people’s belongings if they’re arrested?

A: The Salt Lake Police Department is committed to treating every individual equally, including our homeless population. Items are inventoried and held until they can be returned to the owner. Additional personnel have been brought in to help with this task.

Q: What can individuals do to help?

A: Learn about the programs that are available and make donations to support these programs. Do not give to panhandlers, that is one of the biggest problems that we have.  It is now illegal to give (transact) with panhandlers in major thoroughfares. It doesn’t help people and is dangerous! Instead, give through and volunteer through SLCHOST.org.

Q: What are we doing to ensure the civil liberties of these people are protected.

A: ACLU associates are working closely with our government leaders. The Operation is very transparent. We are all working to ensure that those who are needing help are receiving the help they need and by not being forced to associate with those who are there for the wrong reasons.

Q: How has the homeless population responded to law enforcement being in the field?

A: As expected, responses have been mixed. Those with something to hide, who want to continue to live unlawfully without repercussions are obviously agitated. Others, those who have lived in fear and are victims of those who prey on the less fortunate, have expressed gratitude to law enforcement and others involved. The goal is that this gratitude will prevail and that we can feel that gratitude for years to come.

Q: What is the ongoing police presence going to be?

A: Once order is restored, we anticipated it will take much less much less man power to maintain the safety of the area.

Q: Employers have expressed concern as to how they can keep their employees safe as they come to work.

A: One of the greatest resources are the bicycle cops. Call 799-DNTN, and these police officers can address the concerns on a one on one basis.

The meeting ended with Mayor McAdams reiterating the end goal. This is a long haul operation. We must BREAK THE CYCLE! The criminals will serve their time and leave the jail with hope. Those who need treatment will receive it and leave without debilitating addiction. These people can regain their dignity, receive stable and affordable housing, obtain and retain jobs. And BREAK THE CYCLE. The homeless population is invited to come back to the area to receive services. It is safe for you here.

A huge thank you from us at PPC to all those who are sacrificing and working to make this dream a reality.

That is what this is all about, folks. We at the Pioneer Park Coalition are excited and committed to being a large part of the solution in Operation Rio Grande. Will you join us?

PPC August Membership Meeting with Mayor Ben McAdams

At the August PPC Membership meeting Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams presented a newly proposed action plan to reduce homelessness. PPC Technology Director, Sean Halls, also presents to the coalition regarding innovations in technology which could be applied to social services in America. To learn more about the Salt Lake County Process visit their site here.

Pioneer Park Choose Your Own Adventure

Wow! Quite a collection of stories in June from the press about The Pioneer Park & Downtown District. Do you guess that it is good or bad news?

Here’s a game to play called “Take Your Pick”.

It’s sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure for The Rio Grande District. It’s easy to play, just close your eyes and blindly click a link below and see where it takes you:


Tactical toilets produced locally could solve Salt Lake City’s potty problem
By CHRISTOPHER SMART | | The Salt Lake Tribune
Tuesday, Jun 8, 2016

Man arrested for assault of Salt Lake City police officer
BY HUNTER GEISEL – KUTV 2 Salt Lake City
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8th, 2016

Police investigate possible connection between Salt Lake City stabbings
BY HUNTER GEISEL – KUTV 2 Salt Lake City
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8th 2016

Salt Lake City Council Earmarks Over Half A Million Dollars For Downtown Homeless Problem
Funds will pay for more police, new transportable toilets
By RICK AARON | ABC 4 Utah
Tuesday, June 7, 2016

SLC Council approves new money for portable potties, targeting homeless issues
BY DANIEL WOODRUFF TUESDAY – KUTV 2 Salt Lake City
Tuesday, JUNE 7th, 2016

Salt Lake City seeks public’s help in selecting new homeless shelter sites
By Katie McKellar | KSL News
Tuesday, Jun 7th, 2016

SLC Council looks to address human waste issue around Pioneer Park
By LAUREN STEINBRECHER – FOX 13 News
Monday, June 6, 2016

Cop Attacked, Bitten by Homeless Man
Randal Carlisle – ABC4 Utah
Sunday, June 5, 2016

Man Found Stabbed in Front of Closed Business
Randal Carlisle – ABC 4 Utah
Sunday, June 5, 2016

How leaders in rural Utah counties are trying to end the cycles of poverty
By Marjorie Cortez – Deseret News
Saturday, June 4, 2016

Some Salt Lake City Council members seeking potties on wheels downtown
By CHRISTOPHER SMART | The Salt Lake Tribune
Friday, Jun 3, 2016

Business owners near Pioneer Park say one area can’t carry full load of SLC’s homeless
POSTED 7:04 PM, JUNE 2, 2016, BY ZACH WHITNEY – FOX 13 News

Rio Grande stakeholders demand immediate action on crime, homelessness
By Katie McKellar – Deseret News
Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Editorial: More homeless left behind by Utah’s economic boom
The Salt Lake Tribune
Saturday, May 14,2016

Homelessness rose 7% in Utah last year, even as economy grew
By LEE DAVIDSON | The Salt Lake Tribune
Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Audit: State doing poor job tracking job training and education cases
By ROBERT GEHRKE | The Salt Lake Tribune
Wednesday, May 11 2016

Jay Evensen: Utah’s homeless problem still rages
By Jay Evensen – Deseret News
Thursday, April 28 2016 12:15 a.m. MDT

My view: Amidst Rio Grande shooting investigation, police should be commended
By Sean Halls – For the Deseret News
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Jay Evensen: Police shooting shows how Rio Grande Street is out of control
By Jay Evensen – Deseret News
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Poll: Utahns Want to Move Homeless Shelters Away from Downtown Salt Lake City
By Bob Bernick for Utah Policy
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Utah says it won ‘war on homelessness’, but shelters tell a different story
Maria L La Ganga – The Guardian
Wednesday 27 April 2016 10.25 EDT

Homeless Shelter Systems and What They Don’t Tell You
Carey Fuller, Homeless mother – Huffington Post
October 27, 2011

PPC Mayoral Candidate Interview

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 2nd, 2015

 

Pioneer Park Coalition Mayoral Candidate Interview

Salt Lake City &mdash The October Pioneer Park Coalition meeting will feature a ’ 1 on 1 ’ conversation with both Salt Lake City Mayoral Candidates, District 4 Council Candidates and the Coalition body.

Mayoral Candidates Ralph Becker and Jackie Biskupski, as well as District 4 City Council Candidates Derek Kitchen and Nate Salazar, are scheduled to take time independently of each other in front of the Coalition.

When: Wednesday, October 7th at 3:00 p.m.

Where: Senate Committee Room 210, Senate Building, Utah State Capitol

Coalition members and media are invited to attend.

We believe the leadership and vision of the Salt Lake City Mayor is absolutely critical in solving the complex issues confronting the Pioneer Park neighborhood including: increasing public safety, reducing crime, and decreasing street-level homelessness.

The Pioneer Park Coalition is a consortium of public, private, faith-based and non-profit sector stakeholders who want to improve the quality of life in the Pioneer Park Neighborhood by developing sustainable solutions.

Follow us on Twitter (@PPC_SLC) and ’’ us on Facebook for more updates on this event.

Headlines for October PPC Meeting

Business owners, community members ‘interview’ mayoral hopefuls on conditions in Pioneer Park area
By Marjorie Cortez – Deseret News
October 7th, 2015

###

Townhall Meeting with Dr Robert Marbut

Robert Marbut, a subject matter expert in homeless services, has helped dozens of communities across the US. First as a volunteer, then later as a San Antonio City Councilperson/Mayor-Pro-Tem and a homeless service agency President/CEO, Dr. Robert Marbut has worked on homeless issues for more than three decades.

We feel that an outside voice, someone separated from the politics of Salt Lake, could lend invaluable insight into the issues we face downtown. As the PPC gathered data, studied, and reviewed strategies to help homelessness and crime, we took time to find a subject matter expert. Dr. Marbut offered to visit Salt Lake and speak to the Coalition on his own time and money; his visit purely informational.

Please take time to watch the recording of the town hall meeting. A follow up meeting will be held on Friday, June 5th, 3:00PM at Spy Hop Productions- 511 W 200 S, SLC. The follow up meeting will also be recorded and posted online. For more information on Dr. Marbut click here.

Editorial: Homeless services need serious reform
By Salt Lake Tribune
Saturday, May 16th, 2015

How A Traveling Consultant Helps America Hide The Homeless
By Arthur Delaney
Monday, May 9th, 2015 – Huffington Post

Cities are Hiring this Controversial Homelessness Consultant
By Alex Stevens
Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 – NextCity.org