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St. Luke's to help fund new recreational trail in the Military Reserve area

A photo of the site of a future trail in the Military Reserve area that St. Luke's is helping fund.
Posted at 9:17 AM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 11:17:31-04

BOISE, Idaho — St. Luke's is providing funds to the City of Boise to add a new recreation trail near the area. The 0.75-mile trail will connect the Boise VA Medical Center to existing trails in the Military Reserve area.

A news release says the money is to thank the community and surrounding areas for their patience while phase one of construction improvements to the Boise Medical Center were underway.

“We are thrilled to partner with the City of Boise to provide this new trail connection as a way to give back and celebrate the completion of this phase of enhancements to the Boise hospital,” said Sandee Gehrke, St. Luke’s vice president of system operations. “This trail will improve access to outdoor recreation, and is something our employees, families, neighbors and the community can enjoy.”

The new trail was requested by community members in the area and highlighted in the North End Neighborhood Association neighborhood plan as a desired amenity, according to city officials.

“We are grateful to have a partner like St. Luke’s that values health and outdoor recreation as much as we do,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway. “This new trail connection will increase access to one of the city’s most popular reserves and trail users who responded to our most recent Ridge to Rivers survey strongly support its construction.”

The trail will be designed as a neighborhood access point without a formal trailhead or additional parking. The Boise VA says it supports the connection as it increases accessibility for its employees and community members who use on-campus paths for recreating and commuting.

A map graphic showing the new trail that will connect to other trails in the Military Reserve area.

The trail will be a multi-use, dogs on-leash connection according to the release. Dogs must be on-leash on the VA campus when accessing the trail connection.

St. Luke's is finishing up the completion of a new central utility plant, patient parking garage and shipping and receiving facility at the Boise hospital this spring. The improvements are part of St. Luke's Boise Master Plan, which was approved by the City of Boise in 2015.

The Ridge to Rivers trail crew plans to build the connection this year. The construction cost is estimated at $12,000, which will be covered by St. Luke's.