Boise & Garden City

Off-leash dogs, beaches, reworked clock tower could be in Ann Morrison Park’s future

A bird's-eye view of the fountain at Ann Morrison Park

Take a ride over Boise's famous fountain.
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Take a ride over Boise's famous fountain.

The fountain in the middle of Ann Morrison Park would become an interactive feature where people can splash around.

Several fields east of the fountain would provide space for soccer, cricket, ultimate Frisbee and other sports. The peninsula on the southwest corner would become a fenced areas where dogs can run off-leash.

A semicircular inlet would give Boise River floaters a beach area to take their boats out of the water. A couple more small beaches would give people places to hang out by the river. A two-way loop for bicycles and cars would circulate traffic through the park.

The clock tower would be renovated and relocated.

These are just a few of the changes anticipated in a reworking of the Ann Morrison Park master plan. The process to update the park began last spring as the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and Harry W. Morrison Foundation looked to refresh Boise’s largest park. The park was built in 1959 and named for the first wife of Harry Morrison, who founded Boise’s heavy construction giant Morrison Knudsen Corp.

Take a ride over Boise's famous fountain.

The fountain and off-leash area likely will be the first items the city tackles, Parks and Recreation director Doug Holloway said Monday. Those could be done in the next couple years.

The upgrades will be done in phases. The entire project could take a decade or more to finish, Holloway said. The city doesn’t have a cost estimate for the improvements. Holloway said most of the money for the project will come from private fundraising.

The Boise Parks and Recreation Commission approved the proposed new design of Ann Morrison Park last month. The Boise City Council is scheduled to review it Tuesday afternoon, though the council authorizes the Parks Commission to control park designs. The fact that the council is taking the unusual step of reviewing this process is a testament to the importance of Ann Morrison Park, Holloway said.