Esther Simplot Site (Undeveloped)
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 2014 with funding provided by the Simplot family foundation.
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 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.
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.