It really is fascinating how Avimor has become almost a self-sustaining community. From their water consumption to construction to recreation, it's all right there. It's easy to see how this could a model for future development in the foothills.
Way before the area became Avimor, it was home to the McLeod family. Colin McLeod was a Scottish immigrant who purchased the land back in 1916. As a matter of fact, the white house on the north end of the property faces the foothills because there was a toll road that served Idaho City and Pearl.
Now, decades later, Avimor's General Manager Dan Richter says, "it's really the first planned community of this scale."
Just like one hundred years ago, water is a key ingredient to success. Richter says they use about sixty percent less water than the typical home in the valley.
"We want to use every drop of water so rather than drop it in the creek and eventually into the Boise River we store it in an underground aquifer and the next year we can pull it up for the next irrigation season," Richter says.
It's not just the water, construction materials are not thrown away, but recycled, they even have their own quarry.
"So we're now mining gravel, our landscaping drops over the course of our lifetime, meaning that will be hundreds of thousands of trucks that won't be coming up the canyon to deliver rock to us," Richter explains.
Highway 55 will get another facelift as eventually the stop light will get replaced and Avimor will put ramps in so you won't have to slow down. They're working on a tiered system the Idaho Transportation Department. The Eagle rodeo that recently moved up Highway 55 will be moved again. In a couple of years, the rodeo will be moved across the highway where the views will be spectacular.
Richter says all that's being done is something the McLeod family would appreciate.
"It's important to the family when we're done. We'll have somewhere between eighteen thousand acres of untouched foothills other than the trails and a substantial fund to care for all those lands," Richter says.
For now, you can ride the many miles of bike trails that wind through the hills or enjoy a glass a wine at the soon to be finished vineyard and tasting room. As they say up at Avimor: fresh air, fresh ideas.