Albertson Foundation Donates $3.5 Million to Whitewater Park 

Construction on Phase Two of the Boise River Park is slated for fall 2017, with a completion date in 2019. - J.A. AND KATHRYN ALBERTSON FAMILY FOUNDATION
  • J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation
  • Construction on Phase Two of the Boise River Park is slated for fall 2017, with a completion date in 2019.


Boise River Park
users have been looking forward to the second phase of construction on the whitewater park since the winter of 2014, when the city of Boise hosted a meeting showing off the plans for the park's future

Things have changed a lot since then. The 55 acres around the Boise River Park closed in February 2015 for the construction of Esther Simplot Park, and several sections of the Boise Greenbelt surrounding the park followed suit. While the park was originally slated to be finished spring 2016, the completion date was pushed back to summer after crews found industrial waste resulting in an unanticipated $5.5 million clean-up.

The improvements to the park talked about in that initial meeting more than two years ago included three more wave features, terrace seating and a connection for paddlers from Veterans Pond to Quinn's Pond. The city of Boise kicked in $250,000, but it was up to the Friends of the Park to raise the rest of the multi-million dollar project.

That is, until today, when the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation put out a news release announcing a $3.5 million grant to finish the second phase of the Boise River Park.

“Our strategy is to invest in projects and ideas that can transform communities,” said Albertson Family Foundation Executive Director Roger Quarles in the release. “There is no doubt that this project will jumpstart the West End economically and provide world-class recreation opportunities for visitors and the more than 45,500 residents who live within walking distance of the park.”

click to enlarge Boise River Park users have been waiting years for the promised improvements. - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • Boise River Park users have been waiting years for the promised improvements.
Phase Two of the Boise River Park includes a beach with a wading area, a slalom course complete with in-stream boulders, an overlook and plaza, bank restoration, terraced boulder and lawn sloped seating, three new play waves and stepped take-outs. It also includes river hazard removal and floodway improvements.

The Albertson Foundation gave $1.7 million for the first phase of the Boise River Park, which opened in 2012. The city of Boise will match the foundation's newest $3.5 million grant.

“The Boise River Park is already helping to redefine Boise and downtown’s west end in profound ways,” Boise Mayor Dave Bieter said in a statement. “With the generosity of the Albertson Family Foundation, we will continue to build on the park’s success by creating a uniquely Boise recreation experience, while spurring further investment in a neighborhood with extraordinary potential.”

Construction on the park won't begin until the fall of 2017 and is expected to be finished by 2019.
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