Boise & Garden City

Part of Quinn’s Pond in Boise to close during park construction

The northwest corner of Quinn’s Pond will be fenced off starting Thursday because of safety concerns about use of heavy equipment at the future site of Esther Simplot Park, which is under construction north of the pond.

Public access and parking for the popular recreation site are available off Main Street at the former Bob Rice Ford lot. Pedestrians can also reach the pond from the Boise River Greenbelt.

Customers of Idaho River Sports, at the corner of Whitewater Park Boulevard and Pleasanton Avenue, will have restricted access to the pond, co-owner Jo Cassin said. If they sign waivers and promise to avoid the construction site and other potentially dangerous spots, people who rent boats, boards and other watercraft will be able to walk west past the construction site to the pond, Cassin said. Store employees will accompany customers to the pond and instruct them on what to avoid, she said.

“This way, we don’t have to shut down our entire rental operation,” Cassin said.

She said the building crews have been in constant touch with the store, trying to minimize the disruption to a business that’s been subjected to about four years of almost nonstop construction projects nearby.

“Everyone’s trying really hard to not put us out of business,” Cassin said.

Access to the northwest corner of the pond will remain closed for the rest of the summer, according to a Boise Parks and Recreation news release.

The pond and accompanying park are a popular summer destination for swimmers, stand-up paddle-boarders and boaters.

Construction of Esther Simplot Park is expected to be done next spring. The 55-acre park will encompass 17 acres of ponds suitable for fishing, wading and swimming. The park will feature trails, docks, wetlands, shelters, grassy open areas, a playground, bridges and restrooms. Development of the park is funded by the Simplot family foundation.