Boise Foothills Gets a New Open Space Manager 

Sara Arkle previously worked for the Idaho Conservation League

click to enlarge Sara Arkle is the new Boise Foothills Senior Open Space Manager.
  • Sara Arkle is the new Boise Foothills Senior Open Space Manager.
For the past eight years, Sara Arkle was worked as the community conservation associate at the Idaho Conservation League, but now she's starting a new career with the city of Boise as the Foothills Open Space Senior Manager.

In that position, she'll manage public lands and trails in the foothills as well as the levy funds used to acquire and maintain open space, oversee environmental education programs at the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center and lead the Ridge to Rivers staff members.

"In her new role, Sara will strive to protect and conserve the natural areas and recreational opportunities that make Boise the most livable city in the country," said Director of Boise Parks and Recreation, Doug Holloway, in a news release.

The former open space manager, Julia Grant, quietly left the position at the end of January. The city interviewed a handful of candidates and landed on Arkle, who took up the job earlier this month.

This isn't Arkle's first time working hand-and-hand with the city. While at ICL, Arkle helped spearhead a Boise Sustainability initiative with the mayor and city council. Part of that included an idea to create a sustainability department or office, which would help all other city departments reach environmentally-friendly goals.

"We're talking about creating a roadmap," Arkle told Boise Weekly back in the spring of 2013. "[Boise City Councilwoman] Lauren [McLean] and I have been talking about this for years, but now we're talking about taking this to another level."

While the city did take several green initiatives such as converting nearly 2,100 streetlights to LED technology, retrofitting public buildings with low-flow water fixtures and creating Curb It, the city's curb recycling program, the office of sustainability hasn't happened yet.

Before working with ICL, Arkle was a biologist at LSA Associates, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in environmental, transportation and planning services.

Her bachelor's degree in biology comes from the University of California in Irvine, where she studied the restoration of high elevation landscapes and wetland ecosystems. Her graduate work at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo focused on fire risk communication strategies along the urban/wildland interface.

Back in 2013, Boise City Councilwoman Lauren McLean (left) and Sara Arkle (right) worked to put together new sustainability measures for the city of Boise. - PATRICK SWEENEY
  • Patrick Sweeney
  • Back in 2013, Boise City Councilwoman Lauren McLean (left) and Sara Arkle (right) worked to put together new sustainability measures for the city of Boise.

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