Apply now to join our next cohort of Community Science Fellows and Community Leads!

Reclaim Mayflower Mine Tailings Area

Wasatch County, Utah

Featured image for the project, Reclaim Mayflower Mine Tailings Area

Our goal is to repurpose a previously mined and degraded area into an open space outdoor recreation area.  We need to determine what type of recreation area is suitable for the land, and what additional remediation may be necessary, if any.  A future need for this project is to find and acquire funding for development of the proposed recreational amenity.


About the Community

The land being developed is adjacent to the Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA) mountain resort, which will be a recreational facility specifically for current or former military.  The community that will benefit from this project consists of military personnel that are staying at the resort, Wasatch County residents, as well as the state of Utah due to economic development.  The community members will range from international visitors to rural mountain residents. Community members have interests in mountain outdoor recreation and ecologically sustainable development options.  The central priority is to turn a contaminated property into a beneficial outdoor recreation asset.

About the Project

Some environmental testing has been done on the site to determine the current impact of previous mining use. The intent is for the environmental impact statement, provided by Stantec, as well as any additional necessary surveys, to be utilized by a land planner to help determine a feasible land use that meets community priorities.  It is anticipated that some of the potential land uses may include public ball fields, hiking/biking trails, bird/wildlife viewing areas, etc.  Ideally, the determined land use will be sustainable and have minimal environmental impact. When completed, both the local community as well as resort visitors will have an outdoor amenity.  The anticipated impact of this project will be a dramatic improvement of the aesthetic and usefulness of the land being developed, that will improve the quality of life of everyone in the community, either visitors or residents.

Timeline and Milestones

The approximate timeline for this project is 12 months (6-18 months being the maximum extent), approximately ending in September 2024


-Part I: Determine what type of recreation area is suitable for the land

-Part II: Determine available funding resources to support development of recreation area

Project Team

Community Leads

MIDA MRF Project Area Manager Heather Kruse is a lifelong collaboration and outdoor enthusiast.

MIDA MRF Deputy Project Manager Ashley Burr is a chaos container and non-discriminator of outdoor fun.


Community Science Fellow

Jarrett Jamison headshot

Jarrett Jamison is a Terrestrial Field Ecologist and has worked for NEON for the past 7 years.  He started out with the Southern Plains domain in Texas, where he spent 4 years working as a botanist. He now oversees all terrestrial sampling in Yellowstone National Park for the Northern Rockies domain, aside from small mammals.  He has assisted with sampling efforts at numerous domains across the NEON observatory, 7 different sites so far!  Jarrett received his B.S. in Rangeland Ecology and Management from Texas A&M.  Outside of work Jarrett volunteers with the Gallatin Watershed Council and the Valley of the Flowers Project.  When he isn’t using his time towards conservation efforts for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, he is out enjoying it by rock climbing in the summer and ice climbing in the winter.

Scientist Wanted

We are seeking a land planner that can utilize our available resources on the land area to be developed (environmental impact reports, photos, maps, surveys, etc.)  a suitable/feasible use of this land as an outdoor recreation area. It would be ideal to find one person with both the land planning background as well as the experience with acquiring funding, but we are open to having assistance from multiple professionals.

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

experience with development of remediated areas

-experience with priorities/interests of small mountain communities

-knowledge of regional politics and funding

-familiarity with the expected costs of this type of project

-familiarity with potential county/state requirements for using land for any of the potential project options (additional remediation, environmental testing requirements, etc.)

-We expect some communication in remote meetings, both initially and throughout the process (biweekly at a minimum)

-If we are unable to meet biweekly via Zoom, a written summary of project status and any progress would be sufficient

-We are open to different formats of a final output, which may include a written report and/or presentation to community leads.

-We are uncertain if site visits will be necessary for a sufficient evaluation. This is an option if deemed necessary.

-preferred experience with UT Department of Environmental Quality


Thriving Earth Exchange asks all scientific partners to work with the community to help define a project with concrete local impact to which they can contribute as pro-bono volunteers and collaborators. This work can also position the scientists and communities to seek additional funding, together, for the next stage.

Interested in volunteering as a scientist? Apply now!

Collaborating Organization(s)

The National Science Foundation’s National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a continental-scale observation facility operated by Battelle and designed to collect long-term open access ecological data to better understand how U.S. ecosystems are changing

Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA): MIDA is the land use authority for this project area. MIDA is a state entity with municipal authority to build infrastructure that creates economic benefit for military installations and personnel in the state of Utah.

Extell: Extell is the private development group that is leading the Mayflower Mountain Resort build.

Wasatch County: Wasatch County is the local governing entity wherein the land is located. MIDA, Extell and the County work closely together on planning, permitting, environmental and regulatory issues.

Stantec: Stantec is an environmental testing group that has conducted a variety of soils testing both on this specific property and throughout the project area.