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Established by students, the Seven Canyons Trust aims to bring creeks forced into underground pipelines back above ground.

By Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute

Not many people know that seven creeks run in vein-like tunnels beneath Salt Lake Valley’s pavement.

But students from the Seven Canyons Trust know about these subterranean waters. They know the beautiful, daylight course these streams traveled in the past, and they are envisioning the face of the valley in the future — and their vision is stunning.

Established in 2014, the Seven Canyons Trust is a state-recognized organization established by students from an urban ecology workshop led by Stephen Goldsmith, professor of city and metropolitan planning. Their goal is simple: to “make the invisible visible” by bringing the creeks forced into pipelines underground back above ground, helping to restore our natural environment and the community’s connection to it.

The solutions, however, require long-term and far-reaching goals, and many of the students are prepared to make this a lifelong project.

“The ball is starting to get rolling, and people are starting to catch hold of our vision,” said Liz Jackson, urban planning graduate and one of the student leaders for the project.

Seven Canyons Trust is one example of exciting projects that students involved with the U’s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute get to take part in.

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute has a world-class reputation as a place where students can advance their business and product ideas while fulfilling a college degree. In the fall of 2016, Lassonde Studios takes that concept to the next level, through constructing a place where young entrepreneurs can live with fellow future game-changers who push each other to think more, to be more, to do more.

Lassonde Studios will be a place for young visionaries to have an around-the-clock environment to bounce ideas off of others who also are working through plans that may one day become the next cutting-edge technology. The 160,000-square-foot Lassonde Studios will have a 20,000-square-foot innovation garage on the main floor of the residence hall, complete with 3-D printers, laser cutters, prototyping tools and company launch space. Above will be four floors of housing, with students allowed to choose between “pods,” lofts and traditional rooms.

This spring, Lassonde Studios launched a nationwide search for the “400 best student entrepreneurs,”who will become the first group to live in the state-of-the-art $45 million facility and have an opportunity to earn up to $3 million in scholarships.

What might students create? More ideas like Seven Canyons Trust are sure to emerge from a future generation of students who will live at Lassonde Studios.

About “Student Innovation at the U”

A version of this article originally appeared in the 2015 “Student Innovation at the U” report. The publication is produced by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate students from all colleges and majors doing amazing things. Read more stories and get involved at