Idaho Mountain Express: A Whitewater Park Not Everyone Can Get Behind

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Here's the master plan of the River Park at Sun Peak, created by S2o Design & Engineering, the same firm designing the Boise River Park's next phases. - CITY OF KETCHUM
  • City of Ketchum
  • Here's the master plan of the River Park at Sun Peak, created by S2o Design & Engineering, the same firm designing the Boise River Park's next phases.


Following in the steps of Kelly's Whitewater Park in Cascade and the Boise River Park in the Treasure Valley, the Wood River Valley could see its own whitewater park. But according to the Idaho Mountain Express, not everyone is excited about that, and it's not going to happen anytime soon.

The Idaho Mountain Express published an op-ed written by Hulen Meadows resident Bob Jonas—father of Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas—on July 2. He wrote that his fellow residents "[support] this feature element of the park." 

"I believe the impact of the river park on Hulen Meadows is very positive," he wrote. "A restored river, pond and riparian area will enhance our user experience and property value. ... I support all elements of the river park as currently proposed as an important quality of life investment for Hulen Meadows, all the people of the valley and future generations."

One week later, another op-ed appeared, written by 11 other residents of Hulen Meadows—with a headline that read, "Bob Jonas made false and misleading comments."

"The major error was claiming that Hulen Meadows residents voted for Ketchum's river park at our recent homeowner's meeting. That is completely false." Rather, the letter to the editor said more than 190 residents petitioned Ketchum to significantly reduce existing park plans. 

"Only about 20 people want the entire river park," the letter read. Another op-ed came into July 16's Idaho Mountain Express, furthering viewpoints held by the other neighbors against Jonas' guest opinion.

Those who are not for the whitewater park worry about increased traffic and pedestrian activity on the road, as well as having their privacy infringed upon and the "ruination of wildlife habitat and the peaceful habitat that people love."

Before any more action can be taken on the whitewater park, negotiations with the Bureau of Land Management—which currently owns the land in which the pond sits—and fundraising efforts must continue. Regardless of what happens with the whitewater park plans, the Idaho Mountain Express reports that the Hulen Meadows Pond is currently filled with sediment and algae, and something needs to be done about it.