Mission & History


The Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter is a 1,200 acre nature Preserve and a 10,000 square foot LEED Platinum building with interactive exhibits about the surrounding environment. We offer weekly nature tours, wildlife viewing opportunities, summer camps, environmental education for children and adults, evening lecture series, and a gift shop with local and ecofriendly art. Visit the EcoCenter to learn more about our wetland ecosystem and the 10 miles of trails to explore!

Our Mission

Preserve the land and the human connection to the natural landscape, educate the local and broader communities about the value of nature, and nurture both the ecosystem and the people connected with it.

Land Acknowledgment

As a land-grant institution, Utah State University campuses and centers reside and operate on the territories of the eight tribes of Utah, who have been living, working, and residing on this land from time immemorial. These tribes are the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Indians, Navajo Nation, Ute Indian Tribe, Northwestern Band of Shoshone, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, San Juan Southern Paiute, Skull Valley Band of Goshute, and White Mesa Band of the Ute Mountain Ute. We acknowledge these lands carry the stories of these Nations and their struggles for survival and identity. We recognize Elders past and present as peoples who have cared for, and continue to care for, the land. In offering this land acknowledgment, we affirm Indigenous self-governance history, experiences, and resiliency of the Native people who are still here today.


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    Pre-and-post European contact:

    High alpine wetlands like the Swaner Preserve were visited by the Noohchew (Ute) and Eastern Shoshone Tribes during warmer months for resources like waterfowl, plants, large game, and other supplies.

  • Wagons

    Early 1800s:

    Clashes between European settlers and indigenous peoples increase in frequency as forcible removal proliferates across the American West.

  • 1850s:

    The Snyder family owns and operates a sawmill in the Snyderville Basin.

  • Wagons

    1854 - 1890s:

    Kimball Brothers stage line operates between Park City and Salt Lake City through the heart of the Preserve, establishing Kimball Junction.

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    A Pony Express route, diverted due to heavy snow, passes through the north side of the Preserve.

  • 1868:

    Ore is found in Park City; the mining industry begins.

  • 1884:

    The city of Park City is incorporated.

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    The Utah Central Railway connects Park City to Salt Lake City through the Preserve. This is now the location of the Wetland Discovery Trail.

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    A small stone house is constructed on what is now the Swaner Farm.

  • 1896:

    Utah becomes 45th state.

  • 1910s:

    Park City has mined millions of dollars of ore containing silver, lead, zinc, gold, and other metals, making an international name for itself.

  • 1950s:

    Most Park City mines close and population dwindles dramatically.

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    Leland S. Swaner purchases Spring Creek Ranch, which he operates for the next 35 years.

  • 1963:

    Treasure Mountain ski area opens- now part of Park City Mountain Resort.

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    1969 - 1973:

    Interstate 80 is constructed through Kimball Junction.

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    Spring Creek Angus Ranch Partnership donates 190 acres of land in memory of Leland Swaner, establishing the nonprofit organization, then known as the Swaner Memorial Park Foundation.

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    1996 - 1999:

    The Preserve grows to more than 1,000 acres from seven additional land parcels.

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    A Federal Wetland Reserve easement is established to protect 533 acres of critical wetland habitat on the south side of the Preserve.

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    The Wallin Farm is purchased, adding 107 acres to the Preserve. It is now known as the Swaner Farm.

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    The Swaner Memorial Park Foundation is formally changed to Swaner Nature Preserve. Field trips are launched.

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    The Swaner EcoCenter Opens.

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    The EcoCenter is certified as a LEED Platinum Building.

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    The Swaner Nature Preserve gifts itself to Utah State University and becomes Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter

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    The 1,200 acre Preserve and EcoCenter hosts field trips, summer camps, environmental lectures, workshops, tours, and exhibits.

History of Swaner Brochure

Location, Hours & Contact

Physical & Mailing Address
1258 Center Drive
Park City, Utah 84098

EcoCenter Hours
Wednesday – Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm
The EcoCenter will be closed July 4



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