Recreation, Parks and Open Space in SW Idaho


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The Treasure Valley in SW Idaho is richly endowed with city parks, county parks, state parks, a multitude of recreation opportunities and and many open space reserves. Combine that with a plethora of world-class mountains, rivers, canyons and trails in national forests and BLM lands nearby, the Treasure Valley is arguably the "Best base camp in America."

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Recreation, Parks and Open Space in SW Idaho

  2. 2. “WE ARE BLESSED”
  5. 5. WE’RE AN ACTIVE, FITCOMMUNITY OF PEOPLEIN SW IDAHO.WE LIKE TO PLAYOUTSIDE.My motto: It’s good for the heart, good forthe soul, good for the mind, and it’s fun!So we like to play as often as possible…
  9. 9. SPRING IS A TIME WHEN WE FLOCK TO OUR LOCAL PARKS Local parks are a treasure in ourcommunities A place for rest and relaxation closeto home Pools and playgrounds for kids Ball fields for soccer, lacrosse, baseball and softball Open space for dogs and frisbee golf
  10. 10. CALDWELL PARKS & RECREATION Caldwell has 13 parks serving apopulation of 46,000 people Large parks with multiple ball fieldsfor sports Playgrounds for kids Swimming pools, walking paths
  11. 11. CALDWELL PARKS & RECREATION Oregon Trail CentennialGreenway 3.2 miles along the BoiseRiver Connects to 17-acreWhittenberger Park I call it the CaldwellGreenbelt – It’s in my“Boise Trail Guide”
  12. 12. CITY OF CALDWELL – INDIAN CR. DAYLIGHTING PROJECT $13 million investment Creative financingthrough multiple sources Expected to inspire$90 million in economicdevelopment
  13. 13. NAMPA PARKS & RECREATION Nampa has 25 parks serving a populationof 82,000 people Large parks with multiple ball fields forsports Reservable shelters for events Playgrounds for kids Swimming pools, walking paths Even a 6-acre dog park
  14. 14. NAMPA PARKS & RECREATION Wilson Creek Greenway –Nampa’s Greenbelt Trailhead on Greenhurst orIowa near hospital in SouthNampa Pathway follows WilsonCreek – scenic and pretty 5 miles round-trip
  15. 15. NAMPA PARKS & RECREATION Nampa Rec Center Serves 700,000 people per year 5 pools Climbing wall Weight room Indoor track Racquetball … among otherthings
  16. 16. MERIDIAN PARKS & RECREATION Meridian has 20 parks serving apopulation 76,000 people Meridian has big families, so theyneed lots of ball fields Community pools and amphitheaters New, 58-acre Julius Kleiner Park … coolpark that has just about everything …fishing ponds, bocce ball andcommunity garden
  17. 17. CITY OF MERIDIANAlso has … Roaring SpringsWater Park! Hugely popular outdoor amenity More than 200,000 visit RoaringSprings every summer
  18. 18. BOISE PARKS & RECREATION Boise has 110 park sites servinga population of 210,000 people 1.3 million visitors per year Big parks and neighborhoodparks Community Centers $17M raised via impact fees fornew parks development since‘93
  20. 20. BOISE PARKS & RECREATION Two big parks comingonline in the next year: Maryanne WilliamsPark in E. Boise nearBown Crossing – 4 milehiking and biking loop Esther Simplot Parknext to the BoiseWhitewater Park
  21. 21. BOISE PARKS & RECREATION Our kids love to playsports in ourcommunities, butadults do too! In Boise, 125,000 adultsparticipate in co-edleagues – from softballto volleyball to soccer –that’s more than ½ thepopulation!
  22. 22. TREASURE VALLEY YMCA Big contributor to recreationand youth programs in theTreasure Valley. Facilities inCaldwell, Meridian/Eagle, WestBoise and Downtown Boise Aquatics, fitnessequipment, exercise classes, ballcourts, etc. Thousands of people served
  23. 23. BOISE FOOTHILLS The Boise Foothills are avast open space reserve… From the top of BogusBasin to the Boise River. It’s called the Ridge toRivers Trail System 135+ miles of hiking, trail-running and biking trails
  24. 24. BOISE FOOTHILLS My book, “Mountain Biking in Boise” features66 rides – from easy Greenbelt excursions tolots of 1.5-hour mid-foothills loops toepic, day-long rides from Boise to GardenValley. The Foothills are like a giant playground formountain biking … today, there are thousandsof riders who are out riding the trails nearlyevery day. Immediate access to trails on the edge oftown is a key ingredient in our quality of life
  25. 25. BOISE FOOTHILLS Mountain biking is myfavorite form of fitness inthe spring and summer … Start on easy trails, thenmove up to longer, morechallenging rides to get inbetter shape The challenging rides tellyou what kind of shapeyou’re in …
  26. 26. BOISE FOOTHILLS It’s customaryafter a ride tohave a beerwith yourfriends …
  27. 27. BOISE FOOTHILLS Hiking and trail-runningare very popular in thefoothills as well. My book, “Boise TrailGuide” has 77 hiking andtrail-running routes withinan hour of Boise The Foothills provide anawesome training groundfor trail-runners inparticular …
  28. 28. RACE TO ROBIE CREEK “Toughest half-marathon in theNorthwest” Locals can train for Robie Creek onfoothills trails and Rocky CanyonRoad Race is limited to 2,100 participants… sells out in 10 minutes online. BIG party afterwards Walking or running Robie Creekshould be on everyone’s bucket list
  29. 29. BOISE FOOTHILLS Open space, trails and wildlifehabitat in the Foothills havebeen enhanced by the foothillsproperty tax levy in2001, which raised $10 million. Since that time, about 11,000acres have been protected witha fair market value of $34million. An study in 2011 showed thatfoothills activities had apositive economic impact of$12 million in one year.
  30. 30. EAGLE FOOTHILLS The City of Eagle and mountainbike volunteers haveinstrumental in thedevelopment of the Eagle CyclePark. The Cycle Park has a number ofgap jumps for riders who like tocatch BIG AIR, a dual slalomcourse and a pump track forkids. It’s a great place for kids tobuild their mountain bikingskills.
  31. 31. GOLF IN THE TREASURE VALLEY Golf is hugely popularin the Treasure Valley We have more than12 golf courses toenjoy in the valley Convenient access tocourses inNampa, Caldwell, Kuna, Boise, Eagle andMeridian Lots of business gets
  32. 32. THE IDAHO GOLF TRAIL Golf is hugely popularin the Treasure Valley We have more than12 golf courses toenjoy in the valley Convenient access tocourses inNampa, Caldwell, Kuna, Boise, Eagle andMeridian14 courses totalon the golf trail.Banbury andFalcon Crestrepresent SWIdaho on theIdaho Golf Trail
  33. 33. ROAD BIKING IN SW IDAHO Popular activity for fitness andlong-distance rides… Kristin Armstrong trained onBogus Basin Road for her GoldMetal victory in the Olympics. Tons of great road rides in thevalley, in the mountains, SWBoise and Canyon County Boise Twilight Criterium – Afavorite annual event indowntown Boise
  34. 34. WHITEWATER BOATING IN SW IDAHO The new Boise River Park The Payette River – NorthFork, South Fork, MainFork and Middle Fork Our desert rivers … theOwyhee River and theBruneau River
  35. 35. WHITEWATER BOATING IN SW IDAHO Boise River Park Opened in 2012 Best for kayaking andsurfing Wave-shaping technologymakes the play wave funat different water levels Allows boaters to playand build skills close tohome
  36. 36. WHITEWATER BOATING IN SW IDAHO Payette River is anexcellent teaching river Main Fork starting in Banksfeatures Class 1, 2 and 3whitewater features –good for beginners on up. Kayakers and rafters starton the “main” Payette andbuild skills …
  37. 37. WHITEWATER BOATING IN SW IDAHO South Fork of the PayetteRiver is more pushy andchallenging … Boaters build skills on theLower South Fork, featuringBronco Billy, Staircase andSlalom Rapids Then move on to the“Canyon” section of the SouthFork – big day
  38. 38. WHITEWATER BOATING IN SW IDAHO Big Falls on the South Fork is ascary and breath-taking spot 25-foot multi-tiered waterfall Mandatory portage Outfitters and private boatersknow the drill … “Canyon” is a great team-building trip for businesses withadventuresome people
  39. 39. WHITEWATER BOATING IN SW IDAHO The mighty North Fork of thePayette River … Crème de la crème of thewhitewater experience inIdaho and the nation 15 miles of continuous Class 5rapids … More people are running theNorth Fork than ever before …
  40. 40. WHITEWATER BOATING IN SW IDAHO The Bruneau River … nowprotected as a national wildand scenic river andwilderness area 3.5 hour-drive to the put-in 35 miles in 3-4 days Guided trips available Very special place …
  41. 41. WHITEWATER BOATING IN SW IDAHO The Owyhee River in Idaho …now protected as a nationalwild and scenic river andwilderness area 2.5- to 4-hour drive to theput-in East Fork, Three Forks toRome, Lower Owyhee Guided trips available Also, a very special place …
  42. 42. MORLEY NELSON SNAKE RIVER BIRDS OF PREYNATIONAL CONSERVATION AREA Great place for springhiking, biking and camping20 miles south of Kuna NCA is 485,000 acres,canyon and the “diningarea” for birds of prey. 800 pairs of hawks, owls,eagles and falcons comeeach spring to mate andraise young. Boat tours available
  43. 43. CELEBRATION PARK – CANYON COUNTY Great place for springcamping, hiking, biking, horseback riding, south ofNampa Excellent educational sitere: Native Americanpetroglyphs and BonnevilleFlood Idaho’s first archaeologicalpark
  44. 44. IDAHO STATE PARKS – BRUNEAU DUNES South of Mountain Home Tallest dunes in NorthAmerica at 470 feet abovethe Snake River Plain Great place for familycamping Observatory for learningabout stars
  45. 45. LAKES AND RESERVOIRS FOR BOATING – LUCKY PEAK Great place for power-boating, windsurfing, sailing, water skiing, jet-skiing, fishing andcamping Quick access - SpringShores Marina is 30minutes from Boise 928,788 total annualvisitors, including 350,000boaters
  46. 46. LAKES AND RESERVOIRS FOR BOATING – LUCKY PEAK Nearly 1 million visits equatesto: $26.8 M in visitor spending in theTreasure Valley 228 spinoff jobs $9,258,627 in added value toregional economy Source: Army Corps of Engineers Also, Arrowrock and AndersonRanch Reservoirs nearby
  47. 47. LAKES AND RESERVOIRS FOR BOATING – LAKE LOWELL Irrigation reservoir for TreasureValley farmers Great for pleasureboating, windsurfing, sailing, fishingand bird-watching Deer Flat National Wildlife Refugeborders the lake on south side … 250 bird species and 30 mammalspecies visit the refuge on an annualbasis Recreation management issues arebeing worked out w/refuge staff.
  48. 48. LAKES AND RESERVOIRS FOR BOATING – LAKE CASCADE Irrigation reservoir forPayette River Valley farmers Great for pleasure boating,windsurfing, sailing, fishing,camping, canoeing, lakekayaking and bird-watching Big lake! 4th largest in Idaho …47 square miles Part of Lake Cascade State Park Popular with anglers … bass,perch and big rainbows
  49. 49. LAKES AND RESERVOIRS FOR BOATING – LAKE CASCADE Lake Cascade State Park has 9developed campgrounds 232 individual campsites Great place for camping withkids Important economic driver forcities of Cascade and Donnelly Annual visition: 300,000+
  50. 50. LAKES AND RESERVOIRS FOR BOATING – PAYETTE LAKE Beautiful and refreshing placeto go when the Teasure Valleygets hot in July and August Great for water-skiing, windsurfing, jetskiing, sailing and canoeing Home to Ponderosa State Park– super popular place to camp Great amenities – boatramp, swimming, hiking andbiking
  51. 51. FLOATING THE BOISE RIVER Over 10,000 people float theBoise River on a hot summerday Fun activity forteens, singles, kids andfamilies from June – August 6-mile trip from Barber Park Rentals and shuttles available
  52. 52. FISHING Boise River is open to fishingyear-round Lucky Peak keeps the watercold for trout all summer long Can catch nicerainbows, whitefish andbrown trout Fish and Game stocks excesschinook salmon and steelheadin the river seasonally – BIGBONUS for people in Boise
  53. 53. FISHING S. Fork Boise River is “secret” spot; Silver Creek near S.V. world-class fishing
  54. 54. HIKING AND BACKPACKING – WORLD CLASS Sawtooths andWhite Clouds nearStanley Payette NationalForest Hundreds of high-mountain lakes forcamping and fishing Awesome scenery
  55. 55. WILDERNESS WHITEWATER VACATIONS - WORLD CLASS Middle Fork SalmonRiver Main Salmon andLower Salmon River Selway River Hells Canyon Dream vacation
  56. 56. FALL ACTIVITIES Hells Canyon “cast and blast” 38-mile float trip over 3-5 days Guided trips available Catch tons of rainbows andbass Hunt chukar partridge Camp with your friends
  57. 57. DEER & ELK HUNTING Favorite activities in the fall Many places to hunt in the BoiseNational Forest, OwyheeMountains and Payette NationalForest Guided trips available Successful hunters have freezer fullof nutritious and tasty meat for theyear
  58. 58. WINTER ACTIVITIES Bogus Basin – our favoritenonprofit local ski resort Quick access - 30-45 minutesfrom Boise Typically more than 300,000skier visits per year 37 K’s of xc ski trails Awesome tubing hill
  59. 59. WINTER ACTIVITIES Idaho City Park n’ SkiAreas & BackcountryYurts 1.5 hours from Boise 50+ miles of xc ski andsnowshoe trails 6 backcountry yurtsavailable for rent Reasonably priced Accessible for all abilities
  60. 60. WINTER ACTIVITIES – SUN VALLEY World-class alpine skiingexperience Awesome parks and pipesat Dollar Mtn 200 K’s of Nordic skiing …also world-class Plus backcountry skiing atGalena and in theSawtooths Helicopter skiing
  61. 61. WINTER ACTIVITIES – MCCALL McCall WinterCarnival Skiing at BrundageMountain Over 100K’s of Nordicskiing … also world-class Backcountry skiing atLick Creek Summit World-classSnowmobiling
  62. 62. WINTER ACTIVITIES – HOT SPRINGS SW Idaho hasLOTS of hotsprings Primitive andDeveloped It’s a unique asset… Idaho has morenatural, soakablehot springs thanany other state
  63. 63. WRAP UP We are blessed … It’s no wonder Outside magazinenamed Boise its No. 1 "DreamTown" We’re consistently in the top 10of Forbes lists as a great place towork, live and play We all know it … does the rest ofAmerica know it? Still have toovercome the almighty Idahospud
  64. 64. WRAP UP Parks, pathways, recreation andopen space are importanteconomic assets for Idaho … Need to continue to educate ourpolicy makers about this … Latest Outdoor Industry studyshowed that outdoor recreationgenerates 76,700 jobs in Idahoand $6.3 billion in consumerspending … that’s big!
  65. 65. WRAP UP Let’s keep growing our outdoorrecreation amenities … it strengthensour communities, improves oureconomy and quality of life, enhancesour fitness and, most of all, it’s FUN! More to be done: Let’s realize the vision of a Greenbeltalong the Boise River from Boise toParma Expand greenbelts in Nampa &Caldwell
  66. 66. WRAP UP The Idaho Legislature’s talkabout state management offederal lands might work fortimber management, but itwon’t work for recreation andopen space … Idahoans value the BoiseNational Forest, Payette NationalForest and BLM lands for publicaccess, hunting, fishing, wildlifevalues and open space.
  67. 67. WRAP UP We need our congressionaldelegation to go to bat forrecreation $$ on Idaho’s nationalforests and BLM lands … just likethey do for the timber industryand the livestock grazing … We may need to look at anotheropen space levy for the BoiseFoothills … we’re almost out ofmoney & have more work to do Need more services in OwyheeCounty.
  68. 68. WRAP UP In the meantime, enjoy ourparks and recreationamenities in SW Idaho … We have the best base campin America Thank you!