Boise Parks and Recreation

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Officials in Idaho's capitol city say they're happy with a program offering homeless residents employment with the Boise Parks and Recreation Department.

The program is a partnership between the city and Interfaith Sanctuary, a homeless shelter, modeled after a similar initiative in Albuquerque, New Mexico, The Idaho Statesman reported recently.

After a tumultuous summer of E. coli outbreaks, ponds in Boise are again dealing with tainted water. This time, algae found in pond water could be toxic.

Quinn's Pond Water Recreation Kayak Outdoor Lifestyle Greenbelt
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

After being closed for the better part of summer, Boise officials are finally reopening Esther Simplot Pond. The move comes after E. coli levels in the pond went down and stayed consistently low.

Foothills Quinn's Pond Apartments
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

E. coli contamination continues plaguing Boise’s Esther Simplot Pond and preventing swimmers from beating the heat by taking a dip. After a summer of searching for the cause of the bacteria, officials may have finally found the source.


Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise has been the target of a series of racist and anti-Semitic vandalism.

The first slurs were found Tuesday morning. Shortly after, Boise Parks and Recreation went to work removing and covering up the language scrawled on the marble.

Wednesday morning, a swastika was discovered on a tablet listing the donors to the memorial. It was drawn in permanent marker next to the name “Wood River Jewish Community.”

Boise Parks and Recreation

Friday, Boise opened the last section of the Boise Greenbelt. It comes nearly fifty years after the city started gathering up land to create the iconic foot-and-bike-path.

The new .9-mile section is on the south side of the Boise River between Americana Boulevard and Garden City. With this section, Boise says the Greenbelt is complete within city limits. The footpath stretches nearly 26 miles along both sides of the river.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

A new, bright yellow marketing campaign is taking place on the Boise Greenbelt. Chalk stenciling with the phrase “Buck the Quo” is written on the path in places like Ann Morrison Park.  City officials say it's one of a limited number of nonprofit marketing campaigns approved by the city. 

Any Greenbelt advertising without the City of Boise's permission is illegal. Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway says it’s not often that he says yes to a marketing request.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The little known Land and Water Conservation Fund turns 50 this year. The federal program has dispersed $17 billion over its lifetime. But now its future, and its mission of conserving open space in places like Idaho, is in limbo. Congress has let the fund lapse, and lawmakers are proposing some major changes.

Jeremy Erickson / Flickr Creative Commons

The City of Trees wants more people to have – well – trees.

Ryan Rodgers is with the city's community forestry department, and says there are many benefits to growing more trees in Boise. Rodgers says that's why the city is providing two free programs for people who want more shade by their homes.

Rodgers says residents in the Vista Neighborhood might have received a postcard about donated trees from Idaho Power. The company is encouraging planting for heat reduction in the summer, and the city is helping get the word out.

Daniel Gonzalez

Boise residents know there are a lot of birds that live or pass through the city. Now the city's Parks and Recreation department has published a field guide that highlights species commonly found around town.

Boise Looking For Public Input To Tree Management Plan

Jul 13, 2015
Jeremy Erickson / Flickr Creative Commons

Boise has an estimated 180,000 trees and Boise Parks and Recreation is responsible for about 45,000 of them. The city is updating a 10-year management plan for its trees, led by forester Brian Jorgenson.

Right now, the tree canopy covers 16 percent of the city. Jorgenson — who calls himself the "tree guy" and remembers almost every tree he's planted in his three decades of working for the city — wants to increase that to 25 percent.

"I think trees are just one of those things, along with clean air and clean water, we take for granted," says Jorgenson.

Sarah H. / Flickr Creative Commons

After sustained temperatures over 100 degrees last week, the shallow water and lack of oxygen in west Boise's Redwood Pond caused bass, bluegill and other species to die. At its deepest point, the pond is only about 14 feet.