Willow Lane Park Tennis Court Conversion to Pickleball Courts

Boise Parks and Recreation is considering converting the 2 existing tennis courts at Willow Lane Park into pickleball courts. This project will entail moving and adding some nets and painting some new lines; but will all occur within the existing footprint of the tennis courts. Pickleball courts are smaller than traditional tennis courts, so they can accommodate 4 pickleball courts within the same area as 2 tennis courts.


Pickleball is a sport that has been steadily growing in our community, and because the existing tennis courts are in need of refurbishment, it presents the City with excellent opportunity to provide for additional pickleball court needs in this area of town. Boise Parks and Recreation is reaching out to you to see if you would like to provide any feedback on their proposal.  If there are no issues, they will look at doing the work this summer.

For any other information, comments, or questions please contact Trevor Kesner at tkesner@cityofboise.org or (208) 608-7624.


You’re invited: First meeting of the new West End neighborhood association

After many months of labor, the West End now has its own neighborhood association. If you live in the West End, please come to our historic first meeting to help elect a new board of directors. Consider running yourself! Board members attend monthly board meetings and get involved in other projects, if they wish. We will also vote on a set of new bylaws, which a transition committee has been putting together over the past two months. (You can read the bylaws at the link below.) And we’ll have an update about development on 27th St. and news about a grassroots effort to make cycling in Boise safer and easier by linking existing bikeways. Please join us on Monday, Feb. 5, at 6:30 p.m. at Whittier Elementary School, 301 N 29th St. If you wonder if you live in the West End, click on the link to the neighborhood association map below.

Neighborhood boundary map
Association bylaws draft

Public meeting – Proposed split of VPNA

VPNA is hosting a public meeting to vote on a proposed split of the neighborhood association. The proposal is for the eastern part of the neighborhood to leave the VPNA and become the West End Neighborhood Association. The western part of the current neighborhood association would remain the VPNA. Please join us on Monday, December 4 at 6:30 pm at Davis Park Apartments multi-purpose room.

Boise city council candidates forum Oct 4

Wednesday, October 4 at the Boise Bicycle Project (1027 Lusk)
6:30pm forum, 8:00pm meet&greet.
English, Spanish, Arabic, and ASL supported.

Via Casey Mattoon of the Sierra Club:

The event will focus on five areas: transportation, sustainability, civil rights & protections, fair & affordable housing, and equitable economic development. The event is nonpartisan, free and open to the public.

Music on the Water – Esther Simplot Park – Saturday, July 22

The VPNA is home to an exciting new summer concert series: Music on the Water! On Saturday, July 22 from 2pm to 9pm, the second of three concerts will take place at Esther Simplot Park.

Darian Renee 2:00 – 3:00
Big Wow Band 3:30 – 5:30
Lakoda 6:00 – 7:00
Kevin Kirk & Onomatopoeia 7:30 – 9:00

FYI Quinn’s pond is open; however, the ponds at Esther Simplot Park are still closed due to high levels of E. Coli.

Run for Autism – Veterans Park – Saturday, April 29

image-2-285x300This Saturday, April 29 is the annual Run for Autism at Veteran’s Park. Due to the closure of the greenbelt, the charity run/walk will be going through residential streets in the Veterans Park East neighborhood as well as the Idaho Department of Transportation property. Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 3.03.10 PM

Organizers expect around 300 participants. The event begins at 9:15am and the last participant should finish no later than 10:30am.


Please Plan to Attend the VPNA’s Annual General Meeting on April 17

The plan for a new Whittier Elementary School and the possible secession of the West End from the Veterans Park Neighborhood Association will be among the topics under discussion at our annual general meeting. The meeting will be held at Whittier Elementary School, 301 N 29th St, at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 17. All VPNA residents are urged to attend. We need your energy and your input!

Elections will be held for treasurer and webmaster, and for neighborhood representatives from Pleasanton, Park Davis, Veterans Park East, Heron Hollow, Taft Manor, Independence Park and Quail Glen. Board members attend a meeting the third Monday of every month.

After the successful passage of a $172-million school construction bond last month, the Boise School District now plans to build a new school on the Whittier site. The City of Boise has not yet approved the design for the new school, which will be a defining fixture in our neighborhood for decades, if not a century. We will provide an update on the plan and urge residents to attend the meeting to provide input now, while changes are still being made.

The VPNA board has also been discussing a possible split of our neighborhood association. All the neighborhoods east of Whitewater Boulevard would form a new West End Neighborhood Association. The remaining neighborhoods west of Whitewater Boulevard would remain as the Veterans Park Neighborhood Association. Come hear why the board supports this idea and why it could benefit all of our neighborhoods.

We also hope to have an update on West End business developments from Jay Story, the West End Project Coordinator for the City of Boise and the Capital City Development Corporation.

Esther Simplot Park officially opens

by Rae Brooks

Before a crowd of hundreds, and to the strains of the Boise High School marching band, Esther Simplot used a giant pair of scissors yesterday to cut a ribbon to officially open the new park along the Boise River that bears her name.


Esther Simplot

Boise City Council President Elaine Clegg called the 55-acre Esther Simplot Park the newest in Boise’s “ribbon of jewels” along the Boise River. The city now has 350 acres of parks along the river, matched by 26 miles of Greenbelt path on each side.

“Esther Simplot is going to be the one that connects us to the water,” said Clegg. She called the park “a new place in the West End” and wondered if it might become “too popular.” Under sunny skies, canoeists and paddle-boards were already enjoying the new Esther’s Pond behind her.

Construction of the multi-million-dollar park began in February 2015. The Simplot family foundation, which footed the construction bill, has not released figures, but Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said the city had previously estimated building costs at $11 to $12 million.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter told the crowd that Esther Simplot is likely to be the last park built along the Boise River in the city’s urban core. The new park, he said, has one and a half miles of paths, 630 newly planted trees and 4,000 tons of boulders imported from a ranch in Weiser, Idaho.

“For divers,” he added, “there’s a car, a van and a boat at the bottom of the pond. These are the ones we wanted there, not the ones we didn’t.”

Old vehicles were among the contaminated materials discovered during park excavation. Park builders removed 150,000 cubic yards of petroleum-laced soil and other debris. At the peak of the operation, 45 large dumptrucks an hour were carting off loads to the landfill.

The added removal costs put the park’s design at risk. But the city came up with $4 million for the cleanup, while the Simplot family foundation added an additional $1.5 million.


Scott Simplot

Bieter called the construction of Esther Simplot Park “the toughest project I’ve been involved in in 13 years as mayor.”

Scott Simplot, youngest son of the late J.R. Simplot, told the crowd that the Simplot family wanted the park to harken back to an old-fashioned swimming hole. He recalled fondly how, while growing up in Boise, he would shinny up a tree hanging over a pond, tie a rope to a branch, then climb back down and swing out on the rope into the water.

“I don’t know what we’ll do when one of these trees grows over the pond,” he said. “Maybe, just maybe, we’ll have the world’s greatest swimming hole.”