On Saturday morning, 70 volunteers from the Leadership Boise program spent the morning cleaning. Instead of brooms and dust pans, however, participants held cans of spray paint, shovels and sieves.
A vacuum wouldn’t do much good at Table Rock, anyway.
Leadership Boise is a two-year program dedicated to building leaders in the community; it is run through the Boise Metro Chamber. There is a high school version of the program as well, called the Leadership Boise Academy.
Each year, Leadership Boise undertakes a service project. The project serves as a capstone, a grand finale, for the year. Local nonprofits submit applications for potential projects, and Leadership Boise chooses one. This year’s was at Table Rock.
“We learn empowerment, skills of connection, and really different ways that we are plugged in through infrastructure, government, media, public affairs, that kind of thing,” said Cornelia Sprung, who serves as the chair of the service project planning committee for the Leadership Boise class of 2018-2020.
First-year participants in Leadership Boise learn prerequisite skills; the next year, those students become mentors to first-year members.
“We spend the first year meeting with various segments of the community,” service project co-chair Bill Peters said. “It’s really powerful for us to have the takeaways and connections with various segments of the community.”
This year’s project at Table Rock holds a special place in Peters’ heart.
“I’m new to Idaho. This was one of the first things I did coming from Alaska,” Peters said. “Everyone told me, ‘Gosh you have to go hike Table Rock.’ So, it was pretty incredible that it was part of the applications that came in.”
Volunteers picked up shards of glass, raked trails and painted over graffiti Saturday morning, all wearing matching blue shirts. For Leadership Boise, Saturday was an opportunity to set a new standard.
“I think it might kind of send a message. Once Table Rock is beautiful, clean and not a mess of graffiti, that it is a special place, and maybe we as just residents of Boise can take better care of it moving forward,” Sprung said. “We’re giving people a fresh start again.”