Levy Projects

In 2015, Boise voters approved a $10 million levy to support the preservation of open space and the implementation of habitat and clean water improvement projects in areas such as the Boise foothills and the Boise River. The funds from this levy are managed by the Open Space and Clean Water Advisory Committee.

Projects recommended for approval by Boise City Council to receive levy funds include:

Goathead Removal

Most Idahoans have had a personal experience with goatheads or puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris), either in a beloved pet’s foot or a deflated bicycle tire. The City of Boise is teaming up with Boise State University and Boise Goathead Fest to eradicate the evil goathead from the streets of Boise. You can help by learning how to properly identify and remove goatheads wherever they are found.

Boise Goathead Festival

Discover the goathead hotspot map!

Learn how science is being used to inform goathead removal efforts.

View Goathead Hotspot Map

goathead collected in a bucket

Ridge to Rivers Accessibility Projects

The two new projects identified to increase accessible options for users in the foothills include:

  • A new, fully accessible pedestrian-only trail that will connect with and parallel the current Grove Trail in Hulls Gulch Reserve. The approximately .4 mile section will turn the trail into a loop creating a longer trail experience for users.
  • The relocation of a portion of Red Fox Trail in Camel’s Back Reserve to mitigate the build-up of deep sand that can inhibit use for those in wheelchairs or who use other devices to improve mobility. The 100 foot long reroute will also improve safety and connect users with other accessible trails nearby.

Learn More

Red Fox Trail in Camel's Back Reserve
Red Fox Trail Reroute
Grove Trail Accessible Connection
Grove Trail Accessible Connection
BSU project team for the carbon sequestration levy
Boise State University Project Team

Carbon Sequestration Project

The City of Boise owns nearly 6,000 acres of open space reserves and they are managed for wildlife habitat, ecosystems services and recreational access. One of the most important ecosystem services provided by open space is the ability of the land to store carbon in the plants and soil by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Carbon sequestration of open space reserves potentially store significant amounts of carbon in plants and soils, but the quantitative value of this carbon remains unknown.

This project aims to quantify below-ground carbon sequestration in open space reserves. The resulting carbon storage map will allow the City of Boise to quantify preservation efforts based on carbon sequestration, guide future acquisitions efforts, and target restoration projects to increase carbon storage where feasible.

Peasley Street Connection Improvement Project

The Peasley Street connection to Ann Morrison Park is an improvement project submitted by the Harry W. Morrison Foundation to the City of Boise. The stairway will enhance bicycle and pedestrian access to Ann Morrison Park from the Boise Bench, improving access for more than 850 households. The improvement project aligns with the City of Boise’s goal of ensuring everyone has access to a park within a 10-minute walk of their home.

Project Approval

The Open Space and Clean Water Advisory Committee recommended the project to Boise City Council in February of this year. At the April 11 work session meeting, council approved levy funding for the project in the amount of $850,000. The improvement project satisfies conservation criteria of critical open space, trails and pathways, and community partnerships.

Design Details

The 94-step staircase will be made of flat steel grate and will include a runnel (a grooved bicycle tire track) so that users can easily walk their bike up and down.

Additional accessibility elements will include visual indicators and textured surfaces.

Next Steps

Boise Parks and Recreation is working to finalize permits and bid documents. The goal is for construction to start this summer. The project could take up to a year to complete.

Peasley Street Connection stairs with people walking up and down it along a green hillside
Peasley Street Connection Concept
Reserve with rocks and trees is very green in the spring
Hawkins Range Reserve

Hawkins Range Reserve

Hawkins Range Reserve is a beautiful addition to the recreational offerings in the Boise Foothills. The reserve, which is located off N. Bogus Basin Road, features a 5.7-mile directional trail called Hawkins Loop and .6-mile nested trail called Harrow Trail. The paved trailhead is located in a unique area of the Boise Foothills that until now has not been accessible to the public. It offers a restroom and horse trailer parking.

Hawkins Range Reserve and all trail access is closed seasonally from November to May to protect critical habitat and important wildlife corridors for the animals who call the foothills home. In addition, Dogs are required to remain on-leash on all trails in the reserve from May 1 through June 15 to protect elk calving in the area. Dogs will be allowed off-leash but must be under voice control at all times from June 16 to October 31 annually.

Hawkins Range Reserve spans 393 acres of foothills property off Bogus Basin Road. It is owned by the City of Boise and managed by the Ridge to Rivers Trail System partnership.

The property was protected in 2015 with the purchase of land owned by the Hawkins family, the Berry family and other properties owned by the Idaho Humane Society.

Public and partner agency engagement efforts began in 2017 and included federal and state environmental review, open houses, online surveys and virtual events.

The Boise Parks and Recreation Department and Ridge to Rivers partnership recently submitted an improvement project application to the Open Space and Clean Water Advisory Committee to use levy funds to build the new trail and trailhead due to significant increases in construction costs. Members of the committee unanimously recommended approval of the funding request at their April 13, 2022, meeting.

Construction of the trail and trailhead is estimated to cost $1,011,500 with approximately $195,000 from the City of Boise already budgeted for the project. Project managers requested up to $820,000 in Open Space and Clean Water Levy funding to complete the work. There is currently more than $7.8 million available from the 2015 levy to pay for clean water and open space projects and support future land purchases. If the project moves forward, there is also the potential for a private donation that would result in a decrease in levy funds needed to complete construction of the trail and trailhead at Hawkins Range Reserve.

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For other after hours park related emergencies (i.e. irrigation issues, restrooms), please call (208) 489-6640.