The Dirt on Park City
December 13, 2021
What we’re debating here is the very foundation of this community. It’s the literal ground we’re standing on—like the actual dirt. Seriously. Even the dirt in Park City is fraught with contradiction, caught between a bygone silver mining era and the eternal transformation into a worldwide destination resort for outdoor enthusiasts, art aficionados, indie movie darlings, cuisine Instagrammers and whomever else we can market the community to. That mining part left a legacy of environmental contamination—tailings laced with lead, arsenic and the like—which is quite literally resurfacing as the development boom races ahead in its myriad of incarnations. The questions at hand are, one, what we do with those soils and, two, who’s responsible for them. Thus far, Park City hasn’t dug up any easy answers.