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Viewpoint: Boise unveils trail improvements for people of all abilities

Parks and Rec Director Doug Holloway said Boise's goal is to create a city for everyone.

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho has so many things to see and experience in the great outdoors. Our mountains, prairies, deserts, lakes and rivers offer countless opportunities for photography, hiking, biking, boating and skiing.

But what about those who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices? It can be difficult, if not impossible, to get out into some areas and enjoy all of those things.

The city of Boise just unveiled some completed projects that open up new opportunities for recreation in the Boise Foothills for people of all abilities. City leaders recently cut the ribbon on accessibility improvements on trails in the Camel's Back and Hulls Gulch Reserves.

Ridge to Rivers widened and made the Red Fox and Red-Winged Blackbird trails more accessible in the Camel's Back Reserve. The brand new, nearly half-mile Grove Loop fully accessible trail is now open in Hull's Gulch.
The city says the updates were completed based on recommendations and input from the City of Boise's Cross Disability Task Force. It's a group of locals living with disabilities who work to make sure Boise is accessible for everyone.

During the taping of this Sunday's Viewpoint, Boise Parks and Rec Director Doug Holloway and Boise Cross Disability Task Force member Jeremy Maxand talked about the importance of the city now having these trails.

"Our goal in the City of Boise is to create a city for everyone," Holloway said. "And to really accomplish that you have to create access for people of all abilities. So what we have dedicated this past week and a half or so is three new trails in the foothills that open up a whole new wilderness area, it opens up a whole new urban interface area that those with mobility considerations didn't have access to previously."

"You know folks with disabilities, myself included, we just want opportunities like everybody else to go out and enjoy the things that make Boise an incredible city to live in," Maxand said. "It's important for mental and physical health reasons. It's important to give folks to socialize with other people, and it's important for empowerment. To be able to go out and do things with friends or on your own just to get a sense of efficacy as a human being to be able to do things."

On this edition of Viewpoint, the two also give some insight into how all of this came about and what other accessibility issues they're addressing. Then Holloway discusses the new Molenaar Skate Park and the future Warm Springs Grill + Golf Facility at the city's Warm Springs Golf Course.

Viewpoint airs Sunday mornings at 9 o'clock on KTVB Idaho's NewsChannel 7.

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