Boise plans to make major improvements to the Hillside to the Hollow Reserve this year.
The property was purchased in 2013 and was the subject of a master-plan process in conjunction with the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley, which purchased neighboring property through fund raising.
Now it’s time to act.
The city plans this year to build the Full Sail Trail (No. 56) from Hillside Park to Ussery Gulch, re-align and improve the Robert Smylie Trail (No. 54) and re-align the connection between Harrison Hollow Trail (No. 57) and Who Now Loop (No. 51). Crews will begin revegetation efforts on portions of the property that weren’t identified as trails moving forward.
Work will begin this spring as weather allows.
Last year, the city, Ridge to Rivers, the Land Trust and REI volunteers built the Hippie Shake Trail (No. 50). Otherwise, most of the effort in 2015 involved maintenance and naming the trails that were identified as sustainable. The trails are now marked.
“The next step is to do some realignment of some existing trails and start closing some unsustainable trails where erosion is the biggest issue,” said Sara Arkle, Foothills and open space senior manager for Boise. “We’ve got real sandy soil out there. We’re trying to make sure the hillside doesn’t erode away.”
The reserve stretches almost from Bogus Basin Road to Hill Road to 36th Street. The city owns 258 acres and the Land Trust owns an additional 58 acres. Hillside Park is the primary parking area.
A master plan usually isn’t done on a property like this, Arkle said, but the Land Trust’s neighboring property, the existence of informal trails that already were being used and the need to make some changes to protect the land created significant public interest.
“We wanted to make sure we’re cohesively managing the property,” Arkle said. “The public doesn’t see the parcel lines.”
City seeks advisory committee members
The application deadline is Friday for Boise’s new Open Space and Clean Water Advisory Committee.
The committee was promised on the ballot for the latest voter-approved levy, which will generate $10 million to preserve and protect the Foothills and Boise River.
The committee will advise the city on administration of the fund. The two-year levy passed with 74 percent approval. The money will be used to preserve and protect water quality, wildlife, native plant habitat and open space for recreation in the Foothills and along the river.
The committee will have seven to nine members. The city wants geographic diversity and a variety of user types on the committee. It also values relevant expertise such as backgrounds in biology, conservation or investment management.
Committee members must be Boise residents and will serve staggered, three-year terms. The levy runs from Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2018.