Roundabout Art Project to Showcase Proposals

The 30th Street Roundabout Art Project has rounded a corner. In June, Boise Weekly reported that an art installation was set to accompany the construction of a roundabout at Whitewater Park Boulevard. Now, the city of Boise is accepting public input on the proposals for the art that will adorn the roundabout.

Three sculptures are under consideration.

The artworks being considered will be on display at Jerry’s Market, located at 819 N. 27th Street, Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 16-18. The pieces will also be on display at Bee Wise Goods (3019 W. State Street.) Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 19-21, and at Idaho River Sports (3100 W. Pleasanton Ave.) Sunday-Tuesday, Sept. 22-24.

At those locations, the public is invited to view the proposals and fill out comment forms that will help the city determine which it will install at the roundabout.

See a photo on the Boise Weekly website

Simplot Park Meeting Reminder

Boise Parks and Recreation will be discussing plans for Esther Simplot Park, as well as, taking comments at a public meeting: 5:30pm, Thursday December 1 at Whittier Elementary School, 301 N. 29th Street.

If you are unable to attend you can submit your comments, send them to Wendy Larimore at Boise Parks and Recreation:, or call 608-7636.

VPNA November board meeting minutes are now available under the documents tab at These also discuss VPNA’s input to the project.

Simplot Park Plan Public Meeting Dec 1

A proposed plan for the Esther Simplot Community Park shows expanded ponds and a meandering stream. Natural and paved pathways weave through grassy areas, across bridges and around islands and picnic shelters.

Boise Parks and Recreation will discuss these plans and take comments at a public meeting: 5:30pm, Thursday December 1 at Whittier Elementary School, 301 N. 29th Street.

For more information, or to see the full plan, click here. If you are unable to attend to submit your comments, send them to Wendy Larimore at Boise Parks and Recreation:, or call 608-7636.

Whitewater Park Construction Party this Saturday

Everyone is invited to a “Construction Party” being hosted by McAlvain Construction, the City of Boise, and Idaho River Sports this Saturday (11/12/11). This is a celebration of Phase 1 construction of the Boise River Recreation Park.

Location: Idaho River Sports
Time: 10 am to 2 pm.

Walter McBrier, the McAlvain Construction project manager, will be there in the morning to give tours and answer questions about project and the construction. Since it is a construction site, anyone taking the tour is required to wear closed toe shoes and a limited number of hardhats and vests will be available for each tour. Come early to make sure you get on a tour of the site! If you haven’t seen it the construction site is truly something, the Boise River has been diverted through Quinn’s Pond leaving the river channel dry and under construction.

You will also have the opportunity to see the “waveshapper model” built by Centennial High School students, which demonstrates how the waveshapper will provide water to irrigators while also providing an adjustable wave for playing on the river in kayaks, surf boards, canoes and inner tubes. Walt, Friends of the River Park, and Boise City Park and Rec Staff will be on hand to discuss this exciting project. Idaho River sports will be providing hot chili and hot apple cider to warm you up after the tour. Call 336-4844 for more information.

Simplot Family will fund Construction of Park

Great news from an email sent from Friends of Boise Parks…


The Simplot family will fund construction of Esther Simplot Park and will launch the project next winter with facilities to support the adjacent Boise River Recreation Park, Boise Mayor David H. Bieter announced in his May 18 State of the City Address.

Mayor Bieter praised the Simplot family for moving forward to develop Esther Simplot Park, a 55-acre parcel along the Boise River west of Main Street. The Simplot family donated $1 million in 2003 to complete the purchase of the park. But its development had been considered a later phase after the River Recreation Park was developed and subject to additional fund raising.

The Simplots will move forward with a comprehensive master plan for Esther Simplot Park and will fund construction of the park. They will start next winter by building an access road, parking lot and restroom facilities in tandem with the River Recreation Park.

“This is one of the most significant donations in the history of the Boise parks system,” the mayor said. “And in addition to dollars injected into our local economy, it means that the redevelopment jump-start this area needs will happen that much sooner.”

Construction of Phase I of the Boise River Recreation Park will continue in the fall and is scheduled for completion spring 2012.  Phase I includes the rebuilding of the Thurman Mill diversion to include patented Wave Shaper technology.  Phase II of the park includes downstream water features and is in the planning stages pending agreements with downstream water users.


6/18/11, Steve Fisher Film: “Halo Effect” – Raffle proceeds to benefit the Boise River Recreation Park. The Egyptian Theater, 7:30 – 11 pm.

Esther Simplot Park Planning Begins

On June 8, 2011 VPNA board members Katie Hartman (Pleasanton) and Matt Ellsworth (Park Davis) met with the Simplot Foundation and Boise City officials to discuss the Esther Simplot Park. Prior to the meeting other VPNA board members provided brainstorming ideas for the park, those can be read using this link.  The development of the Esther Simplot Park is a huge opportunity for residents to shape the future of our neighborhood. VPNA welcomes your input. Please either email us your thoughts at or attend the June board meeting (this coming monday at Idaho River Sports 6:30pm) and share your thoughts with us in person. Below is a full account of what was discussed at the June 8 meeting, specific amenities are in bold for a quick read:

Main points of interest:

  • Extensive discussion about project timelines, phasing, and coordination with other nearby/related projects (ACHD’s 30th St. roadway construction, whitewater park – multiple phases, etc.).
  • Discussed flood impacts, how water will move through the park seasonally.
  • Discussed the need for the roadway to complete before the park opens to provide access, but there may be opportunities to do some site work/grading prior to completion of the roadway, and then do “finishing” work as the roadway wraps up to coincide completion of both projects.
  • Consultant pointed out that work that does not occur in/on the edges of the water can move sooner because it doesn’t have the same permitting requirements.
  • Still a question on how to tie any water facilities/ponds back into the river (upstream or down from the irrigation canal).  This has major site/layout and cost implications.
  • Participants shared ideas about the type of park uses that are desired.  The City indicated that the location/layout is fitting for more passive uses (as opposed more active uses like basketball, for example), with an emphasis on natural uses and amenities.
  • The group agreed that the abundance of water is a huge plus and should be a focal point of the park.
  • Everyone agreed that stormwater treatment and control is an important factor for the site. ACHD and Parks stated that there are a couple options for dealing with runoff from 30th street: 1) stormwater goes into a low spot in the park to percolate into ground water or 2) Stormwater could be “treated” by routing it through a series of landscaped natural canals and swales– an innovative concept in L.I.D., Low Impact Development.
  • Another stormwater source is the large (24″) Pleasenton stormdrain which empties directly into Quinn’s Pond. This water should also be treated and controlled in some way, however the pipe is 7-8′ below grade. There was a comment that likely the pressure in the pipe may be enough to bring the water level up to the surface and into the treatment/control infrastructure for 30th street.
  • It was discussed that Crane Creek should go through a sand filter (to rid it of contaminants) before emptying into the pond.
  • Everyone seemed to want a lot of spots for people to play in/use the water (beaches, shallow “starter” paddle/swimming areas, etc.).
  • It is well established that the park will be alcohol free, unless a permit is issued.
  • The City and ACHD agreed that parking will not be an issue because events exceeding the ample parking provided at the park will be required to submit an event parking plan with the City, to include shuttles to large parking areas nearby, “no parking” signage on local streets, parking patrol and the like.
  • Some sort of concession stand/cafe/food carts are being considered
  • Ideas for a bandshell, floating stage to double as swimming or fishing island, gathering area for concerts, etc. were brought up
  • A goal discussed was balancing Whitewater Rodeo amenities with Beach-goer amenities and fun areas for all ages. Also, balancing a neighborhood park setting with regional whitewater park setting.
  • The idea of connecting Quinn Pond to the Simplot ponds with a “paddleable” lazy river was broadly supported, but the consultant said it will be extremely challenging.
  • VPNA rep expressed interest in community center, year-around uses, dog swim and dog park desires.
  • The consultant discussed the importance of balancing the natural feel of the area with creating a usable and safe park. Bicycle patrol, unobtrusive lighting, spacial design etc. as potential solutions.

Next steps:

  • ACHD will prepare a preliminary schedule for roadway construction to share with Simplot/consultant.
  • Consultant will prepare concept options for discussion among the group and with the public.  Hope to complete preliminary concept by mid-July.
  • City will continue floodplain investigation and communication with irrigation district.
  • Tentative plan for broader public meeting in late July.

Preliminary timeline for comments/review

  • June 20th VPNA board meeting to discuss project, brainstorm, organize next steps and priorities…. board to rally the neighborhood for comments and get word out.
  • Mid-July (7/18) VPNA board meeting. Further determine VPNA’s unified voice for the project and what items we cannot compromise on… “deal breakers” and priorities.
  • Mid-Late July: Consultant to prepare concept drawings for broader public meeting with presentation by Parks’ Wendy Larimore.
  • August-Sept: Additional revisions and meetings TBD
  • Mid-September: Goal to adopt master plan