Esther Simplot Park Site (Undeveloped)

625 N Whitewater Park Blvd

Esther Simplot Park is an undeveloped 55-acre park encompassing 17 acres of ponds and 8.9 acres of riparian natural areas. It is one of the riverside parks in the "Ribbon of Jewels" named for prominent local women. 

The park is located between Main Street and Veterans Parkway on the north side of the Boise River near Whitewater Park Boulevard.

Esther Simplot Park is being developed in conjunction with the second phase of the Boise River Park, an in-river river recreation site adjacent to the Boise River Greenbelt.

A park master plan approved by the Boise Parks & Recreation Commission shows expanded ponds, and a meandering stream. Natural and paved pathways weave through grassy areas, across bridges and around islands and picnic shelters.

Park construction is expected to begin in winter 2015 with funding provided by the Simplot family foundation.

Upcoming Construction Update: 

Crews will begin work Jan. 12 to rebuild the Farmers Union Ditch Company intake structure and site prep work for Esther Simplot Park.

Because of safety concerns created by the presence of heavy equipment, the Boise River Greenbelt will be closed from Veterans Memorial Park to the 36th Street pedestrian bridge. Signs with maps will direct pedestrians on a detour across the river to the Garden City Greenbelt.

The dirt parking lots serving Quinn’s Pond and the Boise River Park from Whitewater Park Boulevard also will be closed during construction.  A temporary lot with 32 spaces has opened at the former Bob Rice Ford property on Main Street.

Construction is expected to continue through late 2015.

The Farmers Union Ditch Company project entails replacing a culvert and headgate and then covering the ditch to facilitate the future construction of Phase II of the Boise River Park. The contractor is Boise-based McMillen LLC.  Funding for the $850,000 project is provided by the City of Boise.

For information about the project, please contact Wendy Larimore, Parks Project Manager, wlarimore@cityofboise.org or (208) 608-7636.

BACKGROUND

A $1 million gift from J.R. & Esther Simplot in January 2003 allowed the Boise Parks & Recreation Department to complete the purchase of riverfront property for the future Esther Simplot Park.

The City of Boise already owned 39 acres, a portion of which was donated by the Quinn-McEntee family. But thanks to the donation from the Simplots, the city was able to purchase the remaining 16.5 acres at the former site of the Consolidated Concrete Co.

ESTHER SIMPLOT

esthersimplotbio.jpgEsther Simplot has become synonymous with the performing arts in Boise since moving here in 1972 as the wife of industrialist J. R. Simplot.

Her untiring devotion and commitment have included co-founding the Boise Opera Company and construction in 1992 of the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy and the Academy Annex in 1996.

Esther formed an early appreciation of the arts in her home state of Wisconsin and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Indiana with a degree in music. She subsequently moved to New York City, where she performed with the Riverside Church Choir, the Canterbury Choral, and the Master Choral, and sang at Carnegie Recital Hall and the Worlds Fair.

Until his death in 2008, Esther and J.R. Simplot sponsored numerous artistic efforts. Their commitment to the arts have enriched the lives of performers and audiences alike throughout the Treasure Valley.

Towing

Unauthorized vehicles will be towed at owner's risk and expense. Boise Valley Towing at (208) 389-9707.

Master Plan

A Master Plan is a concept drawing illustrating recreation facilities and landscape features planned for a park site.  It does not necessarily represent what amenities are currently in a park.