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Boise Parks and Rec Asks Public to Name Foothills Trails (Again) 

click to enlarge When naming the trails around Hillside to Hollow, get creative—but not too creative.
  • When naming the trails around Hillside to Hollow, get creative—but not too creative.
Back in December 2014, Boise Parks and Recreation asked the public for a big favor: help them name eight trails in one of Boise's newer land acquisitions, Hillside to Hollow.

The trails wind from Quail Hollow Golf Course to Bogus Basin Road on 319-acre area, which was purchased in 2013 by the a partnership between the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley and the city of Boise using money from the 2001 foothills levy.

During the last week of the year, the public submitted hundreds of name suggestions, including "2 Turkeys," "36th Street Express," "Catalpa View," "Gut Buster," "Hayduke," "Hillside Hike," "Quail Trail" and "Wildside."

Trouble was, Parks and Rec decided not to use any of them.

Instead, the trail-naming process was postponed while the city created a "broad-based public policy for how public trails, parks and recreation areas are named," according to a Dec. 31 news release. It first has to be adopted by Parks and Rec and the Boise City Council before any trails could be officially labeled.

Such a policy now exists and Parks and Recreation has opened the online suggestion box for trail names once again. This time, though, that suggestion box comes with a long list of rules.

For example, if the trail is to be named after a person, it must be a person "whose significance and exemplary reputation have been accepted in the history of the city, the state or the nation." 

The guiding principles for coming up with trail name suggestions say the "proposed names for Trails or Trailhead locations within City-owned open space reserves should be descriptive of the character of the country through which the trail passes." Examples of this include naming trails after nearby points of interest, i.e. the Table Rock Trail; nearby geographical designations, i.e. Cottonwood Creek Trail; local flora or fauna, like the Bucktail Trail or Bitterbrush Trail; or a nearby point of historical significance located near the trail, like the Table Rock Quarry Trail.

Back in December, David Gordon of Ridge to Rivers said opening the process up to the public is a much more creative approach to naming trails. 

"Usually we name trails based on geographic reasons, like at Watchmen's Trail, there was an old mine called Watchmen there," Gordon said, "or the name of a drainage or the formation it goes across. Rather than just us coming up with names for the trails, why not stay in the collaborative spirit of the whole thing."

The "collaborative spirit" began in 2013 after the city and the Treasure Valley Land Trust purchased the area to save it from development. Then, they laid out the maps and handed markets to the public to get input on which trails should stay, which should go and which should be added.

The public now has from Monday, Aug. 17 to Sunday, Aug, 23 to suggest names via the interactive online map found here. From Monday, Aug. 24 through Sunday, August 30, the public can then view all the names suggested and vote on their favorites. 
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