A major donation from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation will kickstart construction this fall on the first in-river improvements to the Boise River Recreation Park. The gift, the second from the foundation, was announced this afternoon by Boise Mayor Dave Bieter. Previously, the JKAF donated $750,000 to the campaign.
The park will be located on the Boise River between Main Street and Veterans Memorial Park, and if all goes as planned, the first phase will be opened to the public in spring 2012. To date, more than $1.2 million, including $750,000 from the City of Boise, has been spent on design, engineering and site preparations for the park. This October, construction will include the demolition and replacement of the aging Thurman Mill Diversion dam and the installation of two new "wave shapers," intended to create waves of varying difficulty year round, providing all-season access at high and low water.
"This is more than a recreation project," said Bieter at today's announcement. "It's also an important economic development effort that will work in concert with Esther Simplot Park, the new 36th Street Footbridge and the 30th Street Extension to bring new activity and vitality to the area."
When complete, the park will include in-river drops, chutes and boulder obstacles, as well as riverbank seating areas and Greenbelt improvements.