Great Salt Lake Nature Center renamed for wildlife advocate


The Great Salt Lake Nature Center at Farmington Bay, home to a variety of wildlife, was renamed the Robert N. Hasenyager Great Salt Lake Nature Center to honor a longtime wildlife advocate.

Robert Hasenyager holds his grandson as he speaks at the renaming of the Great Salt Lake Nature Center, now called the Robert N. Hasenyager Great Salt Lake Nature Center. (Photo by Dean Mitchell)

Hasenyager is a former Utah Division of Wildlife Resources member as well as executive director of the Utah Wildlife in Need Foundation. He has been a key advocate for the center but was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness. This discovery in addition to his retirement, allowed him to slow down on his work and be recognized for his efforts.

On Saturday, Feb. 9, the center was officially renamed as speakers, including Hasenyager, were able to share a few words.

Hasenyager started the Utah Wildlife in Need Foundation as well as put together a temporary nature center at Farmington Bay. These efforts allowed further exploration and conservation of the general Utah ecosystem as well as the wildlife that inhabit the area.

Dean Mitchell, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources outreach chair, was a key member in the decision to rename the center.

“Bob had a vision to help people, in general, understand the Great Salt Lake ecosystem,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the legacy Hasenyager will leave to his family and the State of Utah is immense and that he has done a lot to deserve this. “It was a beautiful ceremony,” he said.

Diana Vos, director of the center, said Hasenyager “was instrumental in getting the nature center to become what it is today.”

Vos works with a large number of volunteers to keep the center up and running. The center takes pride in running field trips for fourth-grade students. Hosting scouts of various ages and providing the programming they need to meet various badges is another key role of the center.

John Preston, a business finance major from Burley, Idaho, is an avid bird hunter and has always been interested in the center.

“It’s so fun to go out and be at the center with friends and family,” Preston said.

There is always room for visitors, volunteers or other exhibits that may be of interest to the public. Volunteer supply is currently short, and the need for willing workers is always great. Visit for more information on hours and events.

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