Children and Youth
One of the City of Boise's goals is to provide services and amenities that enable youth to reach their fullest potential. Early childhood education has been identified as a key turning point and catalyst for academic, social/emotional and eventually community economic success.
- Free & Reduced Lunch: Children from families with incomes at or below 130% of the poverty level are eligible for free meals.
- Kindergarten Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI): The Kindergarten IRI measures "Letter Naming Fluency" and "Letter Sound Fluency."
- 3rd Grade Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI): The 3rd grade IRI score is based on "Reading Curriculum-Based Measures". Teachers listen to a child read graded passages aloud for a minute and calculate the number of words read correct per minute.
- Boise Pre-K Project: Investing in early childhood is one of the best investments Boise can make. In fact, every $1 invested in early learning saves taxpayers $7-13 dollars.
- Energizing Out of School Project: Students at Hawthorne Elementary will soon have a full spectrum of extra-curricular programming available. Thanks to an unprecedented partnership between the Treasure Valley Family YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County, and the City of Boise Parks and Recreation, students will have access to activities and programs before school, after school, and throughout the summer months.
- Out and About Teen Summer Camp: Community Partners supported Vista Neighborhood teens through a summer camp program, teaching skills for healthy relationships in partnership with the Women's and Children's Alliance.
The Vista Neighborhood is the gateway to the City of Boise and home to the Boise Airport. With nearly 400 businesses located within the neighborhood, economic development is at the forefront in our quest to enhance livability.
- Number and Type of Existing Area Businesses
- New Businesses Opened in the Area
- Vista Bench Business Association: The work of the Vista Bench Business Association focuses on protecting the interests of its members, providing a larger regional voice in Boise City matters pertaining to the Vista Bench, and supporting economic development on the Vista Bench.
Activities will strive to increase residents’ awareness of and appreciation for sustainable measures that can take place in their homes. With minimal effort or cost, these activities can enhance the comfort and livability of homes and the neighborhood.
- Number of homes that have installed measures to increase efficiency, and types of measures implemented.
- Change in recycling participation rates and the number of complaints regarding trash pick up.
- Change in the number of trees and percentage of tree canopy coverage.
- Neighborhood Recycling: Educate residents on the recycling opportunities in Boise with the goal of increasing recycling rates in the neighborhood.
- Tree Canopy: Increase awareness of the value of trees in neighborhoods and provide opportunities to expand the tree canopy on public and private property.
- Neighborwoods Program Partnership: 118+ trees were given to Vista Neighborhood residents in 2015.
- Atlantic Idea House: An older home was remodeled to incorporate energy efficient and sustainable practices. The house was used as an educational tool to demonstrate available opportunities for energy efficiency and sustainable practices in other homes in the community.
The Healthy Communities committee is focused on cultivating a sense of community among residents and community partners in the area and providing access to and awareness of available resources.
- Resources within the neighborhood to support residents.
- Celebrations, events and activities within the area to foster community engagement and connections between residents.
- Vista Neighborhood Clean-Up Day
- Vista Neighborhood Community Events: Multiple yearly events are celebrated in the Vista Neighborhood, including the 4th of July Celebration at Shoshone Park, the Community Whitney Block Party, and the South Junior High Spring Fling.
- Expansion of community garden at Whitney Elementary
- Easter Egg Hunt at Fairmont Park: The West Bench Community Building Committee will host their first annual Easter egg hunt on April 11, 2020.
- Ustick in Bloom: A yearly community celebration at Redwood Park in the West Valley Neighborhood was started in 2018. This event brings neighbors together to enjoy live music, food trucks and to peruse hand-crafted items for sale by local artisans.
A home in a safe neighborhood is an indicator of a livable community. Housing was selected as an indicator for determining the overall health of a neighborhood, as simply put, there in an interconnections between housing and health.
The City of Boise is committed to providing resources and help, if applicable, for residents needing housing or help improving their current homes:
- Home Improvement Loan Program: assists low/moderate income homeowners make necessary repairs to bring their home up to code and make it a safe, decent and sanitary place to live. Loans are available for energy and accessibility improvements as well as general housing repairs.
- Affordable Home Ownership: The Housing Loan program offers persons of low/moderate income an opportunity to construct a new home or purchase an existing home (or a Class “A” manufactured home on its own land) within Boise City Limits.
- Rental Housing: The City of Boise offers over 300 rental units to the community. The portfolio includes studios, 1-3 bedroom units and single-family houses with 2-6 bedrooms. The City of Boise's waitlist is currently open and accepting applications. There is no application fee. The waitlist times vary depending on the unit size and availability.
- Hawthorne Cottages
- Median value of residential property.
- Percent of homes making energy efficiency, sustainability, accessibility, or life-safety improvements.
- Decrease in the number of code violations in the area and increase in the number of households receiving code education.
Placemaking, Arts & History
According to the National Endowment for the Arts, "…creative placemaking joins partners from public, private, nonprofit and community sectors to strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, tribe, city or region around arts and cultural activities. Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire and be inspired." From: Creative Placemaking, 2010.
Public Art contributes to Boise's unique sense of place and engages residents in the design of our built environment.
Boise's History Programs document, collect, and preserve vital historical information about the city from which interpretive programming, communication tools, publications, heritage tourism opportunities, festivals, and other initiatives emerge.
- Neighborhood Month Presentations and Walking Tours: In September 2018, Barbara Perry Bauer and the Boise City Department of Arts & History offered a series of tours and presentations exploring the history and unique architecture of the Vista Neighborhood.
- Vista Neighborhood Historic Survey: TAG Historical Research has been conducting a Reconnaissance Level Survey of the buildings in the Vista Neighborhood. This survey will identify, document, and report historic resources, including architectural styles of buildings within the neighborhood.
- Traffic Box Wraps in the Vista Neighborhood: In 2017 the Vista Neighborhood was awarded $8,100 through the Neighborhood Investment Program to wrap three traffic boxes in the area.
- History of the Vista Neighborhood Presentation & Walking Tours: Barbara Perry Bauer shared a series of presentations on the history of the Vista Neighborhood. All three presentations had a great turnout and offered unique insight into the history of the area.
- Pop-Up Art in the Vista Neighborhood: In partnership with two classes at Boise State University, a temporary art gallery was moved throughout the Vista Neighborhood beginning in the Fall of 2017.
A feeling of safety is a vital indicator of livability. A major component of the Energize Our Neighborhood initiative is to prevent and reduce crime by identifying neighborhood priorities and supporting effective community partnerships. Boise Chief of Police Bill Bones serves on the Energize Our Neighborhoods Leadership Team and has been involved in the Energize Our Neighborhoods project from the very beginning. Read Chief Bones' message to the community.
Click on the resources listed below to learn how to implement them in your neighborhood, or learn about existing services in your area.
- Neighborhood Watch
- National Night Out
- Neighborhood Contact Officers
- Code Enforcement
- Graffiti Removal
- Fire Prevention and Safety
For the Vista Neighborhood, as a part of the project with Energize, several projects centered around public safety were implemented to help increase livability:
- New Fire Station
- Mobile Radar Units
- Public Safety Education
- Uncontrolled Intersections
Transportation plays a vital and irreplaceable role in a neighborhood’s livability. In addition to being the connective tissue of the neighborhood, transportation systems are also the largest public asset in terms of overall land area and dollars invested.
- Vista Avenue Bus Stops: Seven bus stops along Vista Avenue were improved to include shelters, benches, bike racks, and public art to increase comfort and convenience for transit users.
- Bicycle Connections and Facility Improvements: At the request of the City of Boise, the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) is in the process of improving bicycle and pedestrian circulation in the Central Bench, including the Vista Neighborhood.
- Pedestrial Improvements: Improvements included the installation of missing curb, gutter, and sidewalk on the east side of Owyhee St., from Overland to Malad and installation of missing curb, gutter, and sidewalk on Targee from Columbus to Annett and installation of pedestrian ramps and crosswalks on seven intersections southeast of Hawthorne Elementary.
- Percentage of sidewalk coverage
- Percent of area with 1/4 mile of a bus stop
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