It is very interesting to me how some places, things, and people recur in a persons life. Gilgal is one of those places.I first visited the garden in 1977 on the invitation of a co-worker from the University Bookstore. It was late evening and after a trip to the Sev for some brews he took me into this place and we snuck around amongst the sculptures and had our little party being respectful of the surroundings in a long ago dreamlike visit.
It wasn’t until the year 2000 that through my job I revisited as a Salt Lake City Official. I was quite amused as I vaguely remembered being here before. The City had taken the property over as a park and believe me it looked much different than it does today. The sculptures are mostly the same but the property had become very overgrown with volunteer trees and hidden living arrangements. In the early 2000’s the City was quite active helping the Friends of Gilgal, (the curators of the park), with creating the access off of 500 South as well as other boundary and property line issues which I was involved with. Just before I was ready to retire from my City post I was asked to become a board member of The Friends of Gilgal to help with some of the remaining boundary issues.I was happy to become involved and feel a cherished connection to the property as well as the other volunteers that help make this place an open, free destination for visitors to Salt Lake City.
With my board member tenure I felt it important to have a hands on connection to the property. Helping Judi Short and the master gardners really became a favorite Tuesday morning activity for me and was a good time to walk around and visit the garden. These Tuesdays were a great opportunity to meet the variety of visitors from all over the world, or even from a few streets away that seemed to always have praise for the beauty and peaceful nature of Gilgal Garden.
Today I live in a different part of Utah and have become an occasional visitor. It is still very satisfying to visit and realize it is one of the places that was saved from development in the late 1990’s by a group of people that cared enough. It is a place that has been vastly enhanced by the volunteers and cared for by the Friends of Gilgal and Salt Lake City.
Much thanks and appreciation to past, present, and future board members and volunteers for all their work to preserve the property with regard to the creator, Thomas B. Child, and for the enjoyment of our visitors.
Salt Lake City