BOISE - A Boise Park will soon get a major upgrade to honor some of the valley's original settlers.
"We came up about four years ago to visit Foote Park and were stunned by the fact that this is all there was," said Janet Worthington, co-founder of the Foote Park project.
A wooden fence and a dirty information sign is all that's left where the historic canyon house once stood at the base of lucky peak dam.
“It was occupied by Mary Hallock Foote and Arthur De Wint Foote," said Worthington.
"These two people needed to be recognized, people need to know who they are," said Maryann Arnold, co-founder Foote Park project.
Arthur De Wint Foote was the founder and designer of the New York Canal, an irrigation system that helped bring the Treasure Valley to life.
"He made the desert bloom," said Arnold.
Without his wife, noted author and illustrator Mary Hallock, Many think that Arthur might have never fully developed his project.
"She was so critical because she helped support the family as this project went forward with her writing and her illustration,” said Arnold. “Had she not be able to do that they might have left before things got any further."
Because of their historical significance to the valley, Maryann Arnold and Janet Worthington decided they were going to upgrade the fly-filled sign and overgrown park.
The pair envisioned an open structure that resembles the Foote house right next to where it stood over 130 years ago.
"There will be two large panels, 8 feet by 3 feet, that have information, pictures and drawings, one side for Mary, one side for Arthur," said Arnold.
It cost $70,000 to get this project built, so Janet and Maryann got to work
"Probably as much as much as 20 hours a week, sometimes writing grants, giving presentations, talking to people,” said Arnold.
Four years and lots of donations later, the duo has finally got their funding.
Soon the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers will start building. The goal is to have it done by the fall.
No doubt Maryann and Janet will be here to make sure every detail falls perfectly into place, all the way down to the view Mary Hallock had out her window of the Boise River.
"It will allow you to look at a drawing she did and see exactly the scene she was drawing," said Arnold.
It is an image that has lasted the test of time.
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