50 Years of the Boise River Greenbelt

Poster print of woman riding bike, people running in background, family playing, text on bottom reads "Boise River Greenbelt 50 years"
Ward Hooper Greenbelt Print

Celebrate the Boise River Greenbelt

The Boise River Greenbelt is 50 years old this year. To mark this historic anniversary, the City of Boise is planning a three-day community-wide celebration September 19-21, 2019.

As part of the celebration, the Parks and Recreation Department and Boise City Department of Arts & History are planning a series of events and a community-driven storytelling campaign to honor this beloved pathway that connects our community. There will be opportunities for everyone who likes to walk, bike and enjoy the Boise River Greenbelt to attend historical talks, take guided Greenbelt tours, attend a concert in the park and more.

Some event times and registration information is yet to be determined. Check back regularly for updates.

Thursday, September 19

*Kickoff Event at the historic Egyptian Theatre | 6:30 p.m. 

Mayor Bieter will honor the Greenbelt's past and the leaders who continue to shape its future.

A reception with light hors d’oeuvres and no-host bar will be offered from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the lobby. Program to begin at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are free and open to the public, but registration is required.

REGISTER

Friday, September 20

Time Capsule Unveiling at Shoreline Park | 10:30 a.m. 

City leaders and members of the community gather together to open the time capsule buried 20 years ago, holding pieces of the greenbelt's past.

*Afternoon Walking and Biking Tours | Various times available 

Gather your friends and family for several walking and biking tours along the Boise River Greenbelt. You'll learn more about the Greenbelt's past and get a glimpse of its future.

WALKING TOURS

BIKE TOURS

Saturday, September 21

*Boise Goes the ExtraMile One-Mile Run/Walk | 10:30 a.m. start at ExtraMile Arena

Lace up your tennis shoes and join your community for a one-mile fun run/walk along the Boise River Greenbelt. This event is a partnership between Boise Parks and Recreation and Boise State University.

A pre-race party will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. at ExtraMile Arena (formerly Taco Bell Arena) on the Boise State campus. Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to take part.

Registered participants will get a free t-shirt on the day of the event while supplies last. Sign-up for this free community activity today.

SIGN UP

Food Truck Rally and Party at Ann Morrison Park | 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Continue the celebrations at Ann Morrison Park, near the fountain, for food trucks, games and more.

Free Jazz Concert at Ann Morrison Park | 6 p.m. 

Join us for a free concert! Bring a blanket and a picnic, and enjoy a family-friendly evening.

Opening the concert will be Boise Rock School, followed by the Boise State Jazz Orchestra.

*registration and / or tickets will be required to attend

Greenbelt Stories

For the past several months we have been asking users to submit their Greenbelt stories and photos. As we continue to collect these stories and memories we will share some with you here.

Submit Your Story

Training for My Future

Submission by Brad Bolen

Countless physical training hours hours for my chosen profession. Years ago I applied to be a Smokejumper for the Boise BLM Smokejumpers. Part of the initial rookie training required me to be able to run approximately the distance of a marathon. Well as many people know the the safety and easiest way to train for any distance running in Boise is to utilize the miles of continuous greenbelt to train. I mapped out a course and went to work training for that distance. When I was finally ready to run the full distance I had my wife drop me off at Sandy Point below Lucky Peak Dam with the intent of running to Merrill Park in Eagle. Luckily I planned this run on a Saturday in the Spring, as I found myself inadvertently a participant in the many fun runs scheduled that day along my course. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I came across many aid stations along the way and was able to sustain myself for the distance. What seemed like a daunting task turned out to be fun adventure as I traveled through Boise, Garden City and Eagle. I chatted with countless people recreating and simply having a wonderful day along the many miles of the Greenbelt. As employee now for City of Boise and a member of the Boise Fire Department I have great pride in seeing our recruits train on this same greenbelt and the Fallen Firefighter memorial park along side it's path.

Our Future Started Here

Submission by Kelsie Carnosso

"Looking back, my now husband and I can say that the first three hours of the rest of our lives together was spent walking the greenbelt. We found ourselves sitting on a bench tucked behind some trees near the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial learning about who we had become as individuals until that moment and the dreams of our future selves. That very same bench was where he proposed a year later. Biking and walking the greenbelt, visiting historical sites, viewing art, and dining at nearby restaurants has become our favorite way to pass time. I think it's safe to say that most of our major memories will revolve around the greenbelt. Thank you City of Boise for doing all you can to care for something that is an integral part of our city."

Daily Dog Walks

Submission by: Laurie Barrera

“Daily dog walks [along the Greenbelt] provide the perfect setting for stunning photography opportunities.”

Youth Conservation Corp

Submission by: Shirley McMasters

“Back in 1978, when I was still in high school, I worked one summer for the Youth Conservation Corp., Y.C.C. Our home base was Boise's Veterans Memorial State Park. That was such a great summer job in many ways, but one of my favorite memories was helping clear the path for what would soon be another section of our beautiful Greenbelt. Using pics and shovels, our Park Leaders showed a young group of Treasure Valley teenagers how to clear a long, wide, level and wheelchair accessible path on the North side of the Boise River which would later to be paved. Looking back, this is something I am still quite proud of 40 years later! I have often said working for the parks that summer was one of my favorite jobs and certainly shaped my Conservationist values to this day.”

A Winter Wedding

Submission by: Holly Asmussen

“On January 7th, 2017, during Snowpocalypse 2017, my wife and I got married on the Greenbelt along the Boise river bank. Over half of the guests never made it, but the small ceremony was serenely beautiful.”

The Joy of a Long Run

Submission by: Katie Lamansky

“Boise’s Greenbelt was the gateway to my passion for long-distance running. Upon my first marathon training program in 2002, I was introduced to the wonders of the Greenbelt and the friendliness of the people in Boise. Years of training and running along the Greenbelt have given me the opportunity to watch the system expand, stand resilient through flooding, and host millions of runners, walkers, bikers, and nature lovers explore the gem of our city.”

Left to Right: Patsy with son Chris, Gwen, Mary Jo, Carol, parents Marge and Bill, Karen, and Peggy

Early Beginnings

Submission by Shirley Ewing: A photo of her family with a caption from an interview with her mother, Marge Ewing, who served on the Boise City Council in the 1970s:

“For years the former city council had discussed the idea of a greenbelt. By the time Marge got on the council, they started discussing a greenbelt in earnest that would connect major city parks along the Boise River. Early on, Marge thought it would be great if anyone, regardless of income, could go to the river for relaxation and peace of mind. With public support for a greenbelt and grant money from the US government, the city began purchasing parcels of land along the river. The first parcel purchased was on Americana Blvd. by the adjacent bridge. The photo shown here, taken in the early 70s, depicts Marge and Bill Ewing with 6 of their seven daughters. They were just leaving their home on 36th Street for a bicycle excursion on the new Greenbelt.”

The Greenbelt Partnership

The Boise River Greenbelt is now a multi-jurisdiction managed pathway that runs on the north and south sides of the Boise River from Lucky Peak all the way to Eagle. The Greenbelt’s now seamless connectivity is a testament to the partnership of the City of Boise, Ada County, Garden City, the City of Eagle and the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands – each organization manages the pathways within their jurisdiction.

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