Barber Valley neighbors raise money to conserve foothills land

Boise neighbors raise money to protect foothills open space

BOISE - Over the last year, a group of Boise neighbors have come together to raise money to buy private land next to their homes, with the idea of turning it into conservation land.

Now, their big idea is almost a reality.

On Tuesday, The Boise City Council will consider contributing over $100,000 from the 2001 foothills levy fund toward the purchase of approximately 25 acres in the southeast Boise Foothills. There is about $645,000 in that fund right now.

Homeowners say if the money is approved it will secure a wildlife habitat and corridors to the river that are crucial to the local ecological system.

"So there was lots of influences as to why we thought it was important to conserve it and keep a bulldozer off of it," said John Mooney, who lives right next to the project area.

Through a collaboration with neighbors, local nonprofits and donors, the Barber Valley Neighborhood Association has raised 75 percent of the $400,000 needed to buy the area.

Brandy Wilson with the Barber Valley Neighborhood Association says the process has been a lot of work, but worth the hundreds of hours of work.

"It was really the result of a lot of people doing a lot of hard work to raise money to protect a parcel of land that was important to the community and important to wildlife," Wilson.

If the deal is approved by the City Council, the City of Boise will take over ownership and management responsibilities of the area.

That is something Boise Parks and Recreation say they would be more than happy to do.

"This parcel is right next to the Boise River Wildlife Management area, so we are expanding that critical habitat by 25 acres and allowing those animals easier access down to the river," said Sara Arkle, Boise Foothills and Open Space superintendent.

In addition, the neighborhood association says it will be a valuable new open space for the city to enjoy.

The parcel sits adjacent to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Management Area.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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