Boise & Garden City

This upgraded half-acre park in Garden City could be what you’re looking for

Heron Park just opened in Garden City

The park used to be an underdeveloped park, but Garden City officials worked to add upgrades. Stairs to the Boise River, additional parking and a concrete seating area were added.
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The park used to be an underdeveloped park, but Garden City officials worked to add upgrades. Stairs to the Boise River, additional parking and a concrete seating area were added.

Garden City finally has its first developed park along the Boise River.

The city has had Greenbelt paths for years, but its only park on the river has been Heron Park, an undeveloped half acre on Reed Street. Now that park has been upgraded.

“It’s located on a piece of city property that has been underutilized,” Mayor John Evans said in a phone interview.

The upgrades include moving the Greenbelt back from the river to create steps to the water, the addition of a circular seating area that overlooks the river, and an improved parking lot.

The river access point is downstream from Boise Whitewater Park, so the location creates a good spot for a takeout, Garden City Council President Pam Beaumont said in a phone interview.

Workers regraded the riverbank to allow water to flow past the park at a slower speed without disturbing riverside ecology.

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With its location downstream from Boise Whitewater Park, some city officials say the stairs to the river will act as a great takeout point for people getting in and out of the river. Maddie Capron mcapron@idahostatesman.com

The upgraded park opened in May. More improvements will come soon, including signs and bike racks. A picnic shelter, restrooms and an open grassy area are expected to be finished by the end of the year.

The city’s Urban Renewal Agency looked at how the space could be improved and started the project about three years ago. The agency commissioned The Land Group Inc., an Eagle architectural, engineering and planning firm, to carry out the project. It will cost about $750,000 by the time it’s completed.

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Garden City Council President Pam Beaumont said the circular seating area that includes stairs down to the Boise River will be a great place for people to sit and watch the river go by. Maddie Capron mcapron@idahostatesman.com

Beaumont said the park is an important open-space amenity, and the success of Riverfront Park on 42nd Street shows that people want to use similar spaces. Riverfront Park opened in 2008, and it is separated from the river by the Boys & Girls Club of Ada County’s Moseley Center.

The blizzards that hit in 2017 and the flooding that followed set Heron Park’s completion back a couple of years, she said.

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