HORSESHOE BEND, Idaho — Horseshoe Bend is a gateway community just over the hill from the Treasure Valley, you may have driven through this small town on the way to McCall, or to go rafting on the Payette River or visit Garden Valley.
"This is one of the poorest cities in the poorest counties in Idaho, but it is also one of the most beautiful," said Kimberly Welsh who started the Chamber of Commerce two years ago. "This is probably one of the only communities that has a river go through it twice so we don't have a lot of land here in Horseshoe Bend."
In 2015, the city bought a small piece of property next to the river near the new bridge the Idaho Transportation Department just finished last year.
The city bought this land for a municipal well because the water they take from the Payette River freezes the pipes when it gets really cold and this should fix that problem, but Welsh came up with an idea a year-and-a-half ago to use the rest of this land for a new park to create a veterans memorial in Horseshoe Bend.
"Kimberly is a force to be reckoned with," Steve Twilegger a Boise County Commissioner. "If you have dealt with Kimberly you know she’s not taking no for an answer, she’s brought so much to this community she’s an amazing grant writer and she’s doing a lot for this side of the county."
Grant writing is a critical skill for a small community as that allows Horseshoe Bend to get funding for projects and not put the burden on taxpayers.
"We are going to get a sidewalk along the west side of Highway 55," said Welsh. "We are one of the only communities without a sidewalk for our kids Mayor Goff and the city council have been very supportive of the chamber, the veterans memorial and everything else we are trying to do.”
Teamwork is also key in a small community like horseshoe bend as local businesses, people and other rural areas are chipping in time and money to create the Woods Veterans Memorial Park.
Horseshoe Bend has had 327 veterans serve our country dating all the way back to the Mexican-American War in the middle of the 1800s.
This new park will feature a wall of heroes with all of their names on it, a 35-foot flag pole and horseshoe monument surrounded by landscape rocks and green space.
"We have gold star families that have to go over the hill to honor their fallen and we wanted a place here," said Welsh. "We are pulling together this entire park and the veterans memorial at no cost to the city, it will all be a labor of love through donations, fundraising and the community spirit."
That community spirit has been on display the past four days as Dobson Gravel graded out 2,000 tons of sand and gravel donated by Premiere Aggregate and local truckers hauled all that material from the pit to the park.
Horseshoe Bend will dedicate this park on Memorial Day in a special ceremony from noon to 3:00 p.m. as they continue working to finish their new park.
"The Young Marines Color Guard will be here to raise the flag over the park for the very first time and we are excited," said Welsch.
Kimberly Welsh gave me an entire list of the businesses and people who are making this park a reality and it's so extensive that I'm just going to copy and paste it below.
Engineering and Design plans fully donated; Survey cost donated – Bailey Engineering;
Laser work to determine elevations and stake out gravel parking lot & Memorial pad - Doug Bergey - donated value $2,000;
Installation of efficient, magnificent and dark sky friendly lights for the Payette River Bridge donating his time & expertise - Shawn Surgeon - saved the City $70,000;
35’ flag pole installation & concrete for Veterans Memorial - Marty Broom - donated value $600;
Gravel Parking Lot 15,000 sq ft: All aggregates donated by Premier Aggregates from HSB Pit - Pit Run 1,700 yards; -¾ “Road Mix” 500 Yards - donated value $12,000;
Donated time & trucks from HSB businesses to haul donated gravel from Premier Aggregates HSB gravel pit to Woods Veterans Memorial Park: 4 days Dobson Gravel, Backcountry Dirt Worx, Sam Cookson, Ryno Engineering and Mike Renfro/Blue Mule Trucking - donated value $10,000;
24 yards of topsoil donated – Severance Sand and Gravel - donated value $1,000;
Cover expenses to test, compact, grade and level soil and prepare parking lot for Premier aggregates donation (see engineering plan stamped 4/18/22) Anonymous donor up to $5,000;
Sponsor Dog Run - Sweet Animal Sanctuary - donation $1,000;
Volcanic gravel donation for decorative work throughout the Park - Jeff Biggers - $1,000;
Donation of irrigation lines from River pump for Woods Veterans Memorial Park - Caseys Smile Suicide Awareness/Carlisle Family, and potential donation of grass sod for area of Park up to the southwest triangle reserved for Municipal Well - Caseys Smile Suicide Awareness/Carlisle Family/Cloverdale Nursury – donated value $25,000;
Donation of river irrigation pump: Woods Family - donated value $2,000;