Open Space

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The City of Boise Open Space Reserves are a diverse group of protected properties, each of which represents significant ecological, historical, recreational or cultural value to our community. Together they form strong connections to our natural environment and are worthy of lasting conservation. Simply stated, our open space reserves are the special places we go to reflect, to play, to learn and to live.

The Open Space Reserve Management Plan provides long-term strategies for open spaces such as Camel’s Back, Hulls Gulch and Military reserves in the City of Boise. The city owns and manages 12 reserves totaling 5,000 acres.

Each year, the Foothills program produces an annual report. View them here.

Interested in recreating in the Boise Foothills? Check out the Ridge to Rivers partnership website for ideas and tips about where to go, how to enjoy the foothills without damaging them and information about the area you may find interesting.

Why Open Space Reserves Matter

Wellness and Recreation

The more than 190 miles of Ridge to Rivers trails and 4,000 acres of city-owned open space reserves are amazing for recreation and beloved by the citizens of Boise. They are also places to experience quiet, get away from city life, take a photo or paint a picture.

Economic Vibrancy

Open space enhances the local economy by drawing visitors, employers and new employees to invest in Boise – from home buying to shopping in restaurants and outdoor retailers and ecotourism businesses. Reserves improve property values, buffer against wildfires and limit infrastructure costs associated with urban sprawl.

Ecosystem Health

Boise’s open spaces protect important wildlife corridors, waterways and rare plant areas by creating large expanses of intact habitats and ecosystems. This benefits Boise by filtering rain water and maintaining air quality and helping regulate our climate.

Culture, History and Learning

Our open spaces make a significant contribution to our understanding of our past and present. They protect resources such as cultural sites and help strengthen our community’s understanding of the natural world, our heritage and ourselves.

Sense of Place

Boise is a unique collection of natural places adjacent to neighborhoods and communities. As historically Western issues like grassland conservation and water management become global issues, our open spaces give Boise its character and help showcase the vibrant, livable place it is.

Social Connections

Our open spaces are part of our identity, a connection to where we live, work and play. Neighbors meet neighbors, kids can run, dogs greet dogs and we all get a little closer to nature when we interact outdoors. Open spaces help foster these important connections and create a scenic backdrop giving Boise character and charm.

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