A 54-acre urban wildlife sanctuary home to birds, animals and fish officially opened Tuesday in West Boise.
The Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve features walking trails, overlooks and educational signs about wetland habitat.
It also hosts an innovative stormwater treatment project. Sand filters and piping will treat urban stormwater runoff and re-use that water in the wetlands.
The Hyatt family donated 22 acres to the city in the mid 1990s for the park. The city bought 22 more acres and in 2010 Ada County Highway District added an additional 10 acres for the stormwater project.
The area features steep slopes leading to water-filled pools ringed with cattails and willows.
The reserve also is unique because its an accident the wetlands were formed in abandoned gravel pits that have been reclaimed by nature.
To protect wildlife habitat, bicycles, dogs, fishing, boating and smoking are prohibited within the reserve on North Maple Grove Road between Chinden Boulevard and McMillan Road.
Cynthia Sewell: 377-6428, Twitter: @CynthiaSewell