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Prudent, responsible stewardship of the environment is not only good for our health and quality of life—it’s also good for our economy. People prefer to live, raise families, recreate and do business in clean, healthy communities while avoiding those which are not. So how do we know which Utah Valley communities are doing what to make our families, our citizens and our valley healthier and more livable? To fill this need, the Utah Valley Earth Forum (, the valley’s independent, citizen, environmental organization since 2006, offers the 2019 Environmental Survey (ES) of all twenty-two Utah Valley area cities and towns.

This is our 7th year for conducting this annual survey. Communities representing nearly 80%

of the valley’s population responded this year. We thank all participating cities and congratulate them for helping improve the environment.

PLEASE NOTE: not all helpful actions and policies suggested in the survey apply to all communities, especially smaller towns with limited resources.

Click HERE

or on chart below

to download and view

the 4-page Table of Results.

UVEF 2019 Environmental Survey

of Utah Valley Area Communities

— Brief Introduction

page 1 of 4

The following is a brief summary of a few of the

environmentally helpful policies and actions which Utah

Valley area communities indicate or indicated they are doing.

Alpine, according to a previous survey and online information, has eleven parks comprising over 350 acres.  The Alpine Nature Center states, “Our mission is to foster a connection between our community and the natural world through learning, stewardship, and appreciation of the Alpine ecosystems.”  Alpine City also allows Accessory Dwellings.

American Fork, according only to online information, has a TDR (Transfer of Development Rights) program to promote the preservation of agricultural land, rural open space, scenic vistas, and sensitive lands.

Cedar Hills stands out among Utah Valley communities in part because they indicate they have an individual or group that acts as an environmental advisor to help steer the city toward being a more responsible steward of the environment.

Eagle Mountain has a special partnership with Utah State University helping to ensure they use water wisely.  They have ordinances that protect Dark Sky and restrict development on ridge lines to both preserve the natural scenery and protect habitats for local wildlife.

Elk Ridge is a small town with a big concern for preserving nature.  They have a goal to be over 25% dependent on renewables.  Plus they have ordinances to preserve open spaces and control lighting to reduce nighttime light pollution.  Their planning commission is focused in part on fostering sustainability.

Genola, according to a previous survey, offers environmental education, help with energy audits and weatherizes their civic buildings.  In city buildings, thermostats are adjusted for energy savings.

Goshen, according to a previous survey, is one of the few communities in Utah Valley that has a clearly stated citywide policy to protect the environment.  In municipal buildings, thermostats are adjusted down in the winter and up in the summer to conserve energy and reduce pollution.

Highland has zoning and ordinances that preserve and restore open spaces such as farmland, orchards, parks, wetlands, rivers, lakes and natural areas.  Highland emphasizes smart growth (e.g. “walkable” communities) and discourage urban sprawl that is virtually automobile dependent.

Lehi stands out as one of the very few Utah Valley cities that has a full time staff member focused on steering the community toward sustainability.  Lehi plans to install meters for irrigation water and will be charging for it in the future.  They use solar energy to heat, cool, light and power all new, and at least some current, municipal buildings.

Lindon has installed publicly-reporting air pollution monitoring devices around the city—and especially adjacent to schools—so residents, school officials, students and parents can see when it’s not safe to be outside and exposed to harmful PM 2.5 air pollution.  Lindon streamlines rooftop solar applications and has a water conservation plan that calls for no outdoor watering from 10 am to 6 pm.

Mapleton, according to online information (not the survey), has a TDR (Transfer of Development Rights) program to promote the preservation of agricultural land, rural open space, scenic vistas, and sensitive lands.  In some places the Mapleton now owns the entire foothill area located between the development edge and the boundary of the Unita National Forest.

Orem has indicated the most environmental actions and policies of any city in Utah Valley.  It is the only city in the valley to accomplish all four of these areas—having an environmental advisor, a clearly stated policy on environmental impacts, an effective environmental eduction program, and giving formal recognition for good stewardship. Purple Air monitoring units around the city.

Payson recycles solid waste and yard wasted through a citywide mandatory or opt-out program.  Payson has tiered water rates that reward water conservation and discourage waste.  It also has programs that encourage and incentivize energy efficiency and energy conservation for the whole community.

Pleasant Grove, according to a previous survey, has a program to educate the community regarding responsible stewardship of the environment.  Pleasant Grove acquires city water only from sustainable sources which on an annual basis do not reduce the water table and water supply of those sources.  It allows “accessory dwelling units” in residential areas.

Provo was the third city in Utah to hire a sustainability coordinator.  Provo installed the Utah Valley Express, a bus rapid transit system that boasts nearly 10,000 boardings per day, taking thousands of cars off the road.  Provo has installed three electric vehicle charging stations and submitted grant proposals for another 22 stations.  Provo produced a very helpful online Clean Air Toolkit site.

Salem has an ordinance that cuts light pollution at night by appropriately directing signage and street lighting.  It is one of only three towns having full net-metering that credits generated electricity at one-to-one for solar installation owners.

Santaquin is the first community in the State of Utah to reuse 100% of wastewater, putting it back into their pressurized irrigation system.  They do not discharge any water into Utah Lake.  Santaquin has implemented specific policies and practices to protect farmland and agriculture from unwanted urban encroachment.

Saratoga Springs, according to a previous survey, is the only city that offers incentives for its citizens to install rooftop solar, and they “streamline” the permitting process with reduced fees and restrictions on solar installations.  They encourage the whole community to conduct energy audits of their buildings.

Spanish Fork is one of only three towns in Utah Valley having full net-metering that credits generated electricity at one-to-one to solar installation owners.  Spanish Fork has campaigns to promote zero or less-polluting alternative transportation (walking, biking, public transit, carpooling, etc).  It has an extensive and popular trail system along the Spanish Fork River.

Springville is the only city in Utah Valley that indicates it has a green purchase policy in which  a product’s environmental impact is fully considered when buying items for city use.  It’s also the only city in the valley that indicates it has reduced it’s carbon footprint substantially over the past five years!

Vineyard, according to a previous survey, is working to rejuvenate Utah Lake and protect it from policies and actions, present and future, that are likely to harm the lake and its watershed.  Vineyard supports a shoreline buffer zone around Utah Lake including public recreational facilities, nature preserves, a nature education center, and a public bike and walking trail around the lake.

Woodland Hills, as a small town with limited resources, is replacing older vehicles with zero or low emission vehicles.  It has a Dark Sky ordinance.  They streamline rooftop solar installations and are trying to implement a plan to derive city power from recycled fuel.


(for more complete reporting)

For additional information, contact the UVEF

at 801-798-2888 or

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