More than 15 years ago, Boisean Diane Davis Myklegard, great granddaughter of Boise pioneers Tom and Julia Davis, began meeting with city officials. Her goal: Restoring, enhancing and remodeling Julia Davis Park — once Davis family orchards — in time for its 100th birthday in 2007. The Second Century Coalition was born, and improvement projects have been ongoing at the celebrated park ever since.
The latest project is the Julia Davis Plaza east of the Rose Garden. It includes a statue of Julia Davis and pioneer girl, a nod to Julia’s habit of greeting arriving pioneers as they made their way on the Oregon Trail, said Myklegard. The plaza, which was renovated with private family funds, not public donations, also includes sandstone paving etched with the Davis family tree.
The next big project, and the final project of the remodel, is the Rotary Grand Plaza that will be located in the pathway or “allee” between Capitol Boulevard and Zoo Boise.
The Grand Plaza will be similar in size to The Grove Plaza in the heart of Downtown Boise, said Myklegard. Local Rotary clubs have raised $150,000 toward the project that will bear the Rotary name. The park group still needs to raise about $200,000 more, said Myklegard.
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When it’s complete, the Grand Plaza will include pillars that hold images of local icons behind beveled glass. Several businesses and community members have stepped up to sponsor icons, said Myklegard, including the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation that’s sponsoring the C.W. Moore mansion on Warm Springs, human rights activist Marilyn Schuler who’s sponsoring the Boise Depot, and others. Idaho Power has donated decorative light fixtures. The Lions Club is sponsoring a seating area near the Greenbelt.
The timeline to complete the project hinges on fundraising that will take place over the next year, said Myklegard. The goal is to complete the project in 2017. Several sponsorship opportunities, including of the local icons that will decorate the pillars, are still available. Make donations through the Idaho Community Foundation at idcomfd.org.
For more information about sponsorships, email Myklegard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Announcing a new nonprofit: Friends of the MK Nature Center
The Friends of Morrison Knudsen Nature Center, just got is official 501(c)(3) status. The mission of the group is to support the MK Nature Center, the always popular spot for nature lovers of all ages at 600 S. Walnut St. in Boise. The founders of the group followed the model of similar organizations, including Friends of Zoo Boise and Friends of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge.
Volunteers spent many hours on paperwork, and meeting with legal and accounting firms to get approval from the IRS.
The new group welcomes donations. All donations will support “on the ground” projects and improvements at the Nature Center. Send donations to Friends of MK Nature Center, PO Box 604, Boise, Idaho, 83701.
And if you haven’t visited the Nature Center, it’s a treat. The Visitor Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekend. The center is closed Mondays, but the Nature Center grounds are open from dawn to dusk every day.
Special features include underwater viewing windows, a beaver dam exhibit, native plant and butterfly-friendly exhibition gardens. Find an online brochure with more details at fishandgame.idaho.gov.
Calling young readers: ‘Tales & Trails’ at Idaho Botanical Garden
The garden is hosting a cool program called Tales & Trails for young readers in grades pre-K through eight who are interested in nature.
Kids sign up to read five nature-inspired stories while they’re outdoors (camping, walking in the park, sitting in the yard, etc.). They fill out a form about their experiences, turn the forms in to the Botanical Garden and get free meal vouchers from Chipotle in exchange. Young readers can get help from their parents and guardians to complete the forms. The program runs through Aug. 30.
Sign up online at idahobotanicalgarden.org. Note, the online application includes a great reading list with selections from the youngest (”Hey, Little Ant”) to the oldest (“Island of the Blue Dolphin”) readers. Call Erin Riley, youth education coordinator, at 275-8612 for more information.
Local Bands Behind Bars at the Old Idaho Pen
Nothing quite like the mix of spooking old-time prison juju and live tunes. The Old Idaho Penitentiary hosts three local bands for the 5th annual “Bars & Ballads” music event Friday Aug. 14.
“Bars & Ballads” is part of the Second Friday Summer Series and is open for all ages. Visitors can tour the site, enjoy a picnic, and listen to Boise Rock School, folk artist Tracy Morrison, and rock favorites Edmond Dantés.
The event is from 6 to 10 p.m. with the last admission at 9 p.m. The cost is $6 for adults and $3 for kids. Tickets are available at the door. Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets and low-back chairs. Food and dessert from Rockin’ Dogs is available for purchase. Picnics are also welcome, but no outside beverages will be allowed. Adults ages 21 and older can purchase Crooked Fence beer and wine sold by the Friends of the Historical Museum (ID required). The prison site will be open for self-guided tours during performances.
Proceeds from the event help fund educational programs and exhibits. Call 208-334-2844 or visit the website history.idaho.gov for more details.
‘Boot Campaign for Veterans’ Marches into the Treasure Valley
Skyline Home Loans NW opens its first Idaho branch by hosting a free public fundraiser for veterans, The Boot Campaign, which raises awareness and money for urgent assistance, medical housing and education for veterans and men and women serving in the U.S. military.
The event will include fun stuff like 90 seconds of sponsored pushups (taking place at 5:15 and 6:15 p.m.), and more. Come enjoy the festivities and donate to a good cause, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 20 at 3681 N. Locust Grove Dr. in Meridian.
To volunteer or donate, contact Meghan Robinson at 580-4235 or Megan Gonzalas at 503-479-7017.
Garden City Library seeks a board member
The library board’s primary mission is to provide support for the popular Bells for Books program that brings books (along with snacks, winter clothes and more) to underserved or economically challenged neighborhoods in Garden City and other educational and cultural programs at the library. The board meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 4 p.m. at the library. Board members should be able to volunteer for at least five hours at the library each month.
If this is a volunteer fit for you, email Dee Gore, foundation chair at email@example.com. To read more about the library, which proudly bills itself “not a quiet library,” visit the website at notaquietlibrary.org.