One of Boise’s most beloved parks now boasts a showstopping centerpiece that is accessible to the entire community. The new interactive fountain in the heart of Ann Morrison Park is a high-tech, modern feature with more than a dozen water sequences to keep kids and families cool through the hot summer months. Members of the Morrison family joined Mayor Lauren McLean, Boise City Council members and families from across the Boise area to dedicate the new fountain on Wednesday, May 31, 2023.
“This is an incredible upgrade that not only improves safety and access to the park’s popular fountain, but also encourages families to make new memories in this beautiful Ribbon of Jewels park,” said Mayor McLean. “Thank you to the Harry W. Morrison Foundation for your commitment to improving Ann Morrison Park and continuing its legacy as a landmark outdoor destination for Boiseans of all ages.”
The original fountain and reflecting pool in Ann Morrison Park was dedicated along with the park’s opening on June 7, 1959. That fountain design was eventually replaced with the previous above-ground version in June of 1996. In recent years, the aging fountain began experiencing a variety of problems. Electrical issues, cracks in the fountain’s foundation and widespread leaking led Boise Parks and Recreation and the Harry W. Morrison Foundation to reimagine the park’s landmark feature, with the goal of making it safer and more engaging for all members of the community. Park user input and resident feedback helped shape the new amenity’s design and functionality.
The new and improved fountain includes more than 10 miles of electrical wiring routed through more than 240 conduits for operation. The main water tunnel is 70 feet long and includes 69 active jets that arch, spray and splash park visitors. The sprays range from five feet to almost 12 feet high depending on the programmed fountain sequence, which can be changed with the touch of a button. Benches that flank the fountain tunnel feature 14 waterfalls for kids and adults to wet their feet. The surfacing around the new fountain has also been updated for safety and accessibility.
“The possibilities are endless with this new and improved fountain,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway. “Colored LED lights allow us to create custom shows for special events in the park like the Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration. We know this will be a popular place to picnic and play all summer long.”
The fountain also includes a state-of-the-art filtration and sanitization system that treats 7,000 gallons of water to maintain safe levels of recreation.
The overall budget for the fountain renovation, benches, lighting and updated electrical and water quality technology is $1.975 million. The funding is a combination of city dollars, a $325,000 donation from the Harry W. Morrison Foundation and a $100,000 donation from the Morrison Knudsen Foundation.
“The Harry W. Morrison Foundation and the Ann Morrison Park Come Play! Capital Campaign demonstrate the value of solid public/private partnerships,” said Mark Daly, Treasurer of the Harry W. Morrison Foundation and great grandnephew of Ann Daly Morrison. “We’re excited to partner with the City of Boise for future amenities and improvements to Ann Morrison Park.”
New artwork installed next to the fountain titled Double Portal by artist Stephanie Inman pulls inspiration from Ann Morrison Park’s original design that included many circular elements. The piece continues the theme of circles and emphasizes the strong axis from the park entry through the fountain to the bronze memorial of Ann Morrison on site. The artwork is a separate project funded by the Harry W. Morrison Foundation.
The fountain will be operational from sunrise to sunset during normal park hours from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day each year. There is also a potential for extended hours at the fountain for special events in the park. A custom Fourth of July show sequence with synchronized red, white and blue LED lights will be featured during the evening of the annual Fireworks Celebration in Ann Morrison Park.
To learn more about Ann Morrison Park and the new interactive fountain, visit the City of Boise’s website.