BOISE, Idaho — For the last two years, the City of Boise has been working on improvements at one of the best parks to enjoy nature and experience the fall colors.
Through funding from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, the park now has new amenities including a new walkway so visitors can assess the southeast corner for the first time ever. They also built a new bathroom and added signs throughout the park.
“We built some overlooks or piers inside the ponds and now you can actually walk out above the pond and observe some of the ecosystem and the wildlife," said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway. "It really turned out better than what we imagined and better than the foundation imagined."
In 1979, the area was just a pasture. Joe Albertson bought the land and donated it to the city for a natural park that was dedicated in 1989. Kathryn Albertson Park is one of the "ribbon of jewels" in Boise named after prominent women.
Another improvement included removing most of the grass turf and replacing it with native grasses. After finishing the project on September 21, Holloway said the meadow-like characteristics of this improvement have made the park less desirable for geese.
"They don’t like the meadow grass, that is something they aren’t accustomed to eating and also because it is taller it doesn’t give the geese that protection they like to have against predators," said Holloway. "This park is arguably one the greatest urban nature parks in the country and we just made it better."
Bird watchers and photographers love this park for obvious reasons. On any given day, there will be families and high school kids posing for professional photos in the park.
"If you are a high school student and you are going to the prom or homecoming, this is where you are coming to get your pictures taken," said Holloway.
People also have the opportunity to rent out two different gazebos for a few hours at $100 and it is a popular place to get married. Just last year, Holloway's own daughter held her ceremony in the park.
"It was awesome and we also got to enjoy bringing my new son-in-law’s family from San Diego to Boise," said Holloway. "They really loved it and are looking forward to enjoying this park now that all the improvements are done."
Biking, swimming, and fishing are all prohibited in Kathryn Albertson Park, dogs are allowed during parts of the year but they need to be on a leash.
Holloway told us the foundation and the city are considering future improvements to the park and that could include a small interpretive center at some point.