City wants input on Boise River Park phase II

An illustration shows the new development of the whitewater park southwest of the current phase I, including more obstacles, boat ramps, a viewing area, and other features.

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by Matt Standal

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBMatt

KTVB.COM

Posted on February 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 26 at 4:09 AM

BOISE -- You won't have to paddle or play in the whitewater to appreciate the new expansion planned for the Boise River Park.

City leaders say the proposed changes are designed to appeal for recreational users who bike, walk and swim too. They'll host a public forum Wednesday night to introduce what's known as Phase II of the Boise River Park and accept feedback from the public.

Want to hang out on a lush lawn and watch a world-class kayak race while your kids picnic and swim?

More kayaking obstacles, public seating platforms, picnic areas, modern bathrooms, and parking options are all part of the design currently under development for the park.

So is the completion of nearby Esther Simplot Park and its own nature trails, picnic areas, walking paths and other attractions.

Boise Parks and Recreation spokesperson Amy Stahl says the complex is being designed to bring recreationists of all types together on the river.

"It's going to create this incredible recreational space utilizing the river, the ponds, and the park for many uses including, picnics, swimming, as well as boaters, stand-up paddle boarders," Stahl told KTVB.

As for the direct construction to portions of the river and the installation of man-made obstacles, Stahl says this stretch of the river will be much different.

CLICK HERE FOR EXPANDED PDF VERSION OF RIVER PARK PLAN

The idea is to give less experienced boaters a safe place practice their skills. That includes playful new features, new rapids, boat ramps -- even an island.

The new plan will also include re-routing the entire greenbelt, to make places for more room for people to watch kayaking, and bring bikers out of the way of spectators.

As good as it all sounds, it's important to remember that we're still talking about a plan. City leaders will gather at 1649 West Shoreline Drive Wednesday at 6 p.m. to pitch the proposal. If approved, they'll pay a team of designers $250,000 to go forward with the design.

"This is a preliminary concept," Stahl told KTVB. "So the public will be allowed to provide feedback to a design team about what they see here and make suggestions and improvements."

They'll still need a successful permitting process and generous donors to provide the influx of cash needed for construction before the park goes from idea to reality.

There's no firm time line on construction. Stahl says it could be several years before construction begins.

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