Foundations Make Major Contributions to Park
BOISE - Friends of Parks, a volunteer group organized to raise funds for the Ray Neef, MD, River Recreation Park, has major contributions to the project in the last several months. The Harry W. Morrison Foundation has donated $50,000. The Jeker Family Trust, and several other organizations and individuals have made significant gifts as well.
The contributions will be applied as matching funds toward a $650,000 grant from the JA and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. Volunteers with the Friends of Parks (FOP), have raised more than $217,000 to be applied to the match.
"These donations have had a very positive impact on our fundraising efforts,” said Friends chair Dr. Paul Collins, "we are now focused on making the most of their generosity by encouraging everyone who is excited about the park to support it.”
”These grants, along with the recent Albertson Foundation donation, confirm the value of this investment and show a rising momentum within our community to get this park built,” Mayor Bieter said. "We are almost to the finish line. I encourage all Boise residents to join forces with those who are already supporting this great project, so we can enjoy the benefits of the park as soon as possible.”
Successfully meeting the match in the coming months will make it possible to complete phase I of the park by spring of 2012. Phase I includes renovation of the aging Thurman Mill diversion, which will make it possible to create waves of varying sizes year round.
To date, more than $1.2 million including $750,000 from the City of Boise has been spent on design, engineering and site preparations. The Albertson Foundation has pledged a total $1.4 million for the park.
Located on the Boise River between Main Street and Veterans Memorial Park, the river park will generate economic development and provide a world-class recreational experience in the heart of Boise. The project will also improve the fish habitat and riparian area in a section of river that was channelized during the mid-1900s.
Features will include in-river drops, chutes and boulder obstacles as well as riverbank seating areas and Greenbelt improvements. Several shared amenities will also benefit the adjacent Esther Simplot Park, including roads, parking lots, and a shelter/changing area.
The river park is expected to fuel economic development citywide. River parks have proven successful in other communities. A whitewater park in Golden, Colo., contributes an estimated $2 million annually to the city’s economy. A river recreation park in Vail generates $1.8 million and a park in Breckenridge $1.4 million per year.
Contact Friends of the Park:
Beth Markley - firstname.lastname@example.org