Boise Open Space levy fund purchase to expand Hillside to Hollow Reserve

Posted at 12:26 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 14:26:35-05

BOISE — The City of Boise has reached an agreement with Healthwise, Incorporated to purchase about eight acres directly adjacent to the existing Hillside to Hollow Reserve.

If approved by the Boise City Council, the purchase will use the remaining funds from the 2001 Foothills levy -- about $140,000 remains -- and will be the first acquisition of land using funds from the 2015 Open Space and Clean Water Levy. The eight-acre parcel will cost about $435,000, plus closing and due diligence costs.

“Any time we can add to an existing reserve, it’s exciting,” said Mayor David Bieter at a Wednesday press conference. “We look forward to increasing access and amenities for recreationalists in the area.”

The original $10 million from the 2001 Foothills levy has allowed the City of Boise to invest in the protection of approximately 11,500 acres of Foothills open space. Those protected acres have an estimated market value of around $40 million, according to a news release from the Boise Parks and Recreation Department.

Healthwise, a local nonprofit, was a major donor in the effort to protect and preserve the Hillside to Hollow area in the early 2000s.

“Healthwise has always been committed to preserving the open space in our backyard, and we’re excited to partner with the City of Boise in this effort,” said Dr. Adam Husney, CEO of Healthwise. “The foothills are part of Boise’s identity -- they provide habitat for wildlife and opportunities for our community to recreate and connect with nature.”

The reserve is currently made up of two properties off Hill Road. The Land Trust of the Treasure Valley originally acquired 58 acres in 2011. Then in 2013, the City of Boise purchased the adjacent 258 acres with serial levy funds. The two entities work together to manage Hillside to Hollow.

“This is an important addition to a popular reserve within the Ridge to Rivers Trail System,” said Council President Lauren McLean. “Healthwise has a long history of supporting open space and recreation in the City of Boise and we look forward to continuing that partnership.”

Boise City Council members will consider the purchase at their upcoming regularly-scheduled meeting on Feb. 26. If approved, the Boise Parks and Recreation Department will work with the public to design a trailhead that provides public access.

Due to the popularity of trails in the area, a formal trailhead and bathroom have already been identified as needs at Harrison Hollow.