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It's time to get outside and play at Great Salt Lake.

News about the lake shouldn't only be about the crisis. It's long been a place for fun, which is why Great Salt Lake Collaborative newsrooms are finding recreation stories to tell.

Here are the latest recreation stories created by Utah newsrooms and student journalists who took a Great Salt Lake Collaborative class at the University of Utah:

Paddling waves of tradition: the cultural legacy of Great Salt Lake’s Hawaiian canoe club

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As the sun begins to fall behind the rugged mountains surrounding Great Salt Lake, clear water ripples around a 40-foot, dark blue canoe with yellow trim and big white letters that read “HUI PAOAKALANI.” Each canoe holds six people, all of whom have a specific role as they paddle through the cool waters.

For 13 years, members of the Hui Paoakalani Hawaiian Outrigger Club launched the canoes from the Great Salt Lake Marina every Saturday morning – a great workout for paddlers, but that was never the main purpose.

“The Hawaiian people don’t like to look at the canoes as being an exercise piece of equipment,” said club co-founder Darren Medeiros. “These canoes have spirits of their own, and we use the canoes to perpetuate our culture.”

Discover why this important club closed shop and what was lost.

Unleashing Adventure: Recreating on Salt Lake City’s West Side and the Jordan River

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Residents of Salt Lake City’s west side communities are among the most ethnically diverse in Utah. Closer than east side neighborhoods to Great Salt Lake, they often contend with issues including dust storms and air pollution.Recreational activities along the Jordan River, which flows into the lake, have provided many community members with solace despite the challenges.

Listen to three podcast episodes about recreation on the river: 

Episode 1: Clean air and community with Gilberto Rejon Magaña

Episode 2: Birds and ecosystems with Daniel Hernandez

Episode 3: Kayaking the Jordan River and beyond with Viviana Hernandez

Club draws new and seasoned rowers to the waters of Great Salt Lake despite worries over its future

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Despite the shrinking lake and the constant concerns surrounding it – environmentally, politically and economically – new people still come to Great Salt Lake to learn to row alongside others who have been on the water for decades. Instructors from Great Salt Lake Rowing, a nonprofit club based at the lake’s marina, promote rowing as a competitive sport and a recreational activity for people of all skill levels.

Read about the how-to-row clinics and what rowers love about the lake


Visitors receive greater access to collect deer antlers on Antelope Island

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Travis and Bailey Hansen from Ogden, until for antlers, during the Antelope Island Shed Hunt, on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.

It's not news that deer lose their antlers in the spring and thousands of antler hunters collect them every year, but an increased popularity has the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources allowing visitors greater access than usual at Antelope Island for their searches.This year saw the island opened to 100 hunters who were given access to nearly the whole island — save for some very sensitive wildlife areas — from sunup to sundown.

Check out a video story and written piece about this popular event.


Shorelands Preserve highlights recreation at Great Salt Lake

A group of fourth graders walk along the boardwalk during a Wings and Water field trip at the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve in Layton on Thursday, April 18, 2024. The Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve and USU Botanical Center offer the Wings and Water program for fourth graders to connect them with the lake and get a taste of the beauty, birds and other wildlife the 4,500 acres have to offer.

The preserve is operated under the stewardship of The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that seeks to set aside land for people to enjoy now and for their descendants to enjoy later. It has forged a partnership with the Utah State University Botanical Center to promote and operate the preserve in a thriving relationship that makes it stronger.

Check out how school children get to experience this Davis County jewel.

Readers' Saltair concert memories

"It was probably about 1960. We met all the relatives at the Utah Fair Grounds on 1000 West. ...We would board the SaltAir Railway that opened in 1891 and ran from the fairgrounds to Saltair. I remember the train being open and crowded, and sitting in my seat watching the desert landscape go by as we headed for the Turkish palace, Saltair.

"Everyone was of course excited and making lots of noise. After departing the train we would disperse and spent the day on the rides and eating hot dogs and cotton candy. I remember that it was so fun to have all of the adults and children in the same place, like a celebration. And as the sun started to set we would all board the train for the ride home, depleted and happy. The train ride is the thing I remember the most about it, that and the sense of family." — Tom Judd

"Midnight Oil probably in about 1993 or 1994…..One of my favorite bands, and it was the coolest venue to see them in!" — Kari Dunn


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