The official start of construction on Esther Simplot Park isn't set to begin until Monday, Feb. 23, but crews were flattening the area and removing large boulders throughout last week.
The park, located off of Whitewater Park Boulevard, will boast 17 acres of ponds for fishing, wading and swimming, as well as a stream connecting the park's three ponds with Quinn's Pond—acting as a waterway system to let kayakers skip a lengthy portage to the top of the next phases of the Boise River Park
The park will also include trails, wetlands, boardwalks, docks, shelters, grassy open areas, a playground and wildlife habitat, according to a news release from the Boise Department of Parks and Recreation. The park is privately funded through the Simplot family foundation, but it will be owned and maintained by the city of Boise.
Boise Parks and Recreation
Two sections of the Greenbelt will remain closed through the rest of the year as Esther Simplot Park is built.
Two sections of the Boise Greenbelt will be closed
throughout construction, from Veteran's Memorial Park to the 36th Street pedestrian bridge and from Whitewater Park Boulevard to the Boise River Park. Detours are set up for pedestrians and bicycle commuters to access the Garden City Greenbelt on the south side of the river at Veteran's Memorial Parkway, Main Street or the 36th Street pedestrian bride. The areas will be closed for the rest of the year.
A temporary parking lot for Quinn's Pond and the Boise River Park has been set up at the former Bob Rice Ford location on Main Street
"It's not the world's most convenient [option] and we recognize that," Boise Parks and Recreation spokesperson Amy Stahl told Boise Weekly
in December. "But this will be a significant development for the future of the river park. It will provide a large space so we can reroute the Greenbelt and create vantage points of the river, and improve access for the public. It's an inconvenience for this year, but the benefits in the long term are tremendous."
Esther Simplot Park is slated to be finished in the spring of 2016.