Boise & Garden City

Boise participates in Michelle Obama’s service initiative

Boise leaders and the Treasure Valley YMCA joined in with first lady Michelle Obama’s service campaign “Let’s Move!” Thursday with a demonstration of an outdoor stewardship project.

The U.S. Interior Department and Obama launched the initiative to engage young people in outdoor activities and service. Fifty cities across the U.S. are being selected to participate.

As part of the initiative, young people working with the YMCA are wrapping chicken wire around Boise Greenbelt trees to protect them from beaver damage. It’s funded through a $5 million national contribution from the American Express Foundation, and will support the initiative in the Treasure Valley for two years, according to the release.

“Any opportunity to engage young people in their community is exciting. But combining that service with a healthy, outdoor activity that makes them better stewards of the natural environment is priceless,” said Mayor Dave Bieter in a statement.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, just weeks after her latest visit to Idaho, also lauded Boise’s participation in a statement. David Jayo, her senior adviser, visited Boise Thursday for a demonstration of the chicken wire project.

“Boise is blessed with amazing public parks and a strong network of public and nonprofit leaders committed to getting kids outdoors, active and connected to nature,” Jewell said. “Through this new partnership ... we are nurturing a movement to foster the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts, stewards and leaders, while helping young people connect to the public lands in their community.”