Hero 1996: Jane Lloyd 

Hero 1996: Dowtown Boise's super-volunteer

Jane Lloyd's fingerprints are all over downtown Boise. Ten years ago, her commitment to the cultural and developmental acceleration of the downtown core earned her a Local Heroes nod after she helped to form the Downtown Boise Association, the Downtown Business District and served on the committee that wrote the downtown portion of Boise City's metro plan. Today Lloyd is finally able to watch some of what she and other big-wheel volunteers helped to create paying off.

"I think it matches pretty well," she says of how Boise in 2006 compares to what she hoped for in 1996. "Downtown Boise's success speaks for itself. The sidewalks used to kind of roll up at 5 p.m. Now, whenever you're down there, it's got a lot of people around. It's a real center of arts and entertainment for a community."

Lloyd might as well be talking about herself in that last descriptor. Over the last 10 years, she's been on the boards of the Boise Art Museum, the museum's Collector's Forum, the local YMCA and the Boise Arts Commission. She is also the vice president of the nonprofit advocacy group Idaho Smart Growth, a position which she says will only increase in importance over the next 10 years in downtown Boise's maturation.

"A lot of what Idaho Smart Growth has done so far has been under the radar," she says. "People haven't seen it, because it's been quiet, technical things. But I think the timing is about right for it to grow to the next stage and be really strong advocates for things like a more balanced transportation system."

After doing her part to help Boise for 25 years, Lloyd says she's finally considering pulling back from some of her multitude of commitments, handing the reins over to a new guard of downtown activists and being content with being an "informed citizen." But she doesn't the same slowing down from downtown Boise itself.

"I'm expecting more of the same," she says of the next decade. "More people living here, in a place that will be easy to get to. It will be an energetic, intelligent center of our region. And we can do it. The people who live here, that's their wish and their want."

She quickly adds that she also hopes the downtown of the future will have a few more "green" buildings, like the small handful that have opened here in recent years. Lloyd says a current favorite of hers is developer Gary Christensen's new Banner Bank Buiding, which opened earlier this summer and has applied for a prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. "I hope to see a lot more buildings like that in Boise 10 years from now," Lloyd says. "Buildings that are not only environmentally wonderful, but are well-designed, too."

--NC

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