Boise & Garden City

The weed patch by Quinn’s Pond could get a makeover. Here’s what you could see there.

Boise Parks and Recreation envisions a grassy space with amenities like a playground, outdoor gym, seating areas or bird-watching stations on this three-acre swath south of Quinn’s Pond. The department plans to plant the grass and install an irrigation system next year, with other features to come later.
Boise Parks and Recreation envisions a grassy space with amenities like a playground, outdoor gym, seating areas or bird-watching stations on this three-acre swath south of Quinn’s Pond. The department plans to plant the grass and install an irrigation system next year, with other features to come later. sberg@IdahoStatesman.com

Three acres of grass and an irrigation system could be the first step in what amounts to a fully developed park just south of Quinn’s Pond.

Boise Parks and Recreation plans to green up that area sometime between now and next fall, spokeswoman Sarah Collings said. The expected cost is $500,000. Future years could bring amenities like a playground, waterside seating or a workout station.

Parks and Recreation hasn’t settled details of those amenities, such as what they would be, how much they’d cost and when to install them, Collings said.

Located north of Main Street, between Whitewater Park Boulevard and the Boise River, Quinn’s Pond is part of Bernardine Quinn Riverside Park. It is named for a Boise woman who moved here from Wisconsin in 1910 and became active in the Catholic Church, Girl Scouts and the then-Saint Alphonsus Hospital.

Always a favorite swimming hole, the pond’s popularity has grown in recent years with the addition of a beach and grassy area on its north shore, a whitewater park in the Boise River to the west, and Esther Simplot Park to the north.

The three acres south of the pond, though, remain a weed patch — a space people mostly ignore on their way to the north shore or the Greenbelt between the pond and the river. Parks and Recreation wants to make that area attractive, too.

The department held an open house Sept. 13 to introduce ideas to people who live near Quinn’s Pond and field feedback from them. About 30 people showed up, Collings said, and more sent in emails.

People who attended voted on their favorite proposed amenities. The most popular was a playground — whether it has traditional metal and plastic equipment, or is naturalized with features like rocks, hollow logs and obstacles screened by nature.

Some kind of structure to facilitate swimming was high on the list, too, as were an outdoor workout station, bird-watching areas and volleyball courts, according to a tally provided by Parks and Recreation.

The department is fleshing out development concepts for the park based on feedback from last month’s open house, Collings said. An official proposal likely will go before the Parks and Recreation Commission in November, she said.

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