700 S CAPITOL BLVD
The city's oldest park, Julia Davis Park was created thanks to a generous donation of 43 acres of land in 1907 by Thomas Davis as a memorial to his beloved wife, Julia.
Julia Davis Park is the cultural and historic heart of the city.The 89.4-acre parks is the home of Zoo Boise, Boise Art Museum, Idaho State Historical Museum, Discovery Center of Idaho and Idaho Black History Museum.
The park also features a formal Rose Garden, two reservable pavilions, a six-court tennis complex, playground, duck pond, restrooms and a section of the Boise River Greenbelt.
Smoking is prohibited in all public parks, facilities and within 20 feet of the Boise River Greenbelt. However, smoking is permitted in a designated area within the park.
Julia Davis Park is open from sunrise to midnight. Park use guidelines provide visitors with an overview of the rules & regulations. Vehicles parked in "no parking" areas or left after midnight will be towed at owner's risk and expense.
As the city's oldest park, Julia Davis features a wide array of mature trees. A brochure is available to lead you on a self-guided tree walk through the park. It is one of the riverside parks in the "Ribbon of Jewels" named for prominent local women.
Julia Davis Rose Garden
In spring 2013, roses in the park experienced an aggressive disease called Bacterial Cane Blight of Roses - http://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/node/3871/print. The plants were severely pruned to prevent the loss of the entire rose from the disease. The roses are expected to send out new canes throughout the summer.
In 1935, the Rose Garden idea originated with H. C. Schuppel, who was a chairman of a Mens Garden Club called the "Cut Worms." The club was restricted to 20 members and only had 2 rules: no women and no publicity. Each member brought their skills to the planning of the Garden.
Tom McLeod, a club member and Park Superintendent, planned the layout of the Garden. During the first phase in 1939, 300 roses were received from Jackson Perkins and 1,500 more came from Villa Nurseries in Portland. Also in 1939, another 1,000 roses were planted and the Rose Garden was officially dedicated.
In 1979, the Memorial Rose Fund was created to help fund memorials for family or friends - dead or alive. The Rose Garden received its Public Rose Garden accreditation in 1992 and now receives 10 bushes of All American winners yearly. To learn more about donation opportunities, contact Darlene Hoffland of the Rose Society at (208) 375-3623.
About 2,400 roses bloom every year in the Julia Davis Rose Garden, which is a popular location for wedding ceremonies and rose lovers of all ages. For Rose Garden availability and online reservations, please see the Boise Parks & Recreation reservations website.
Quest for the Golden Apple
Children and adults can learn about the history of Julia Davis Park, facts about the Davis Family and nutritional information about apples on this fun interactive trek called the "Quest for the Golden Apple." The quest starts at the Broadway Bridge and clues lead all over the park with 13 stops. By using the key and putting together the information learned throughout the quest, the ultimate location of the golden apple will be revealed.
The quest map is sponsored by the Ada County Farm Bureau with content from the Ag Mag and the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. Graphics were provided by Boise artist Be Gin (Ben Upchurch). Free maps are also available at the Boise Parks & Recreation Administration Office, 1104 Royal Blvd., Boise, Idaho 83706.
Julia Davis Park Docent Tours
Designed for enthusiasts of local history and those new to Boise, the Julia Davis Park Docent Tours offer visitors an introduction to Boise's first park. During the 90-minute walk, which starts at the Idaho State Historical Museum, knowledgeable volunteer docents identify sites and markers of historic significance, revealing why Julia Davis Park is the cultural and historic heart of Boise.
Docent tours are offered free of charge on First Thursdays at 4 p.m. May through September. Tours are also available by arrangement.
For additional information about the Julia Davis Park Docent program, volunteering as a docent or scheduling docent tours, contact Kathleen Barrett, email@example.com, (208) 338-9108.
Julia Davis: Second Century Coalition
The Julia Davis Park: Second Century Coalition is a volunteer organization led by Diane Myklegard, a descendant of Tom and Julia Davis. The coalition is raising funds for a "renaissance" of the park with new features and enhancements, including:
• A Grand Plaza and History Walk
• A Pavilion (one of 5 pavilions planned)
• A River Node (one of 4 river nodes planned)
• The Quest for the Golden Apples, an interactive history tour
Information about the Second Century Coalition campaign, is available at www.juliadavispark.org. For information, contact Beth Markley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-484-4424.
The City of Boise, Idaho, has many things to boast about, but few can compare with the quiet charm of Julia Davis Park.
The story behind Julia Davis Park begins in 1862 when two orphaned brothers, Tom and Frank Davis, joined with a group of 75 men in Cincinnati, Ohio, and headed west hoping to strike gold. As an early Boise pioneer, Tom Davis helped lay out the blueprint of the city and owned and developed thousands of acres of agricultural property.
Julia McCrumb came to the Boise Valley from Ontario, Canada, to visit relatives in the Summer of 1869. Two years later she and Tom Davis were married and the couple eventually had six children.
Julia, known for her kindness and gracious hospitality, would welcome and assist emigrants traveling on the Oregon Trail as they stopped their wagons along the river to rest from their journey across the high desert. She died in the Autumn of 1907 at the age of 60 after assisting a traveler who may have had typhoid fever.
Upon deeding the property in memory of his wife, Tom Davis required that the land would forever be used for public park purposes.
Boise Art Museum
Discovery Center of Idaho
Idaho Black History Museum
Idaho Rose Society
Idaho State Historical Museum
Paddle Boats, 208-412-2278
Childhood Cancer Pavilion
Diagnosed with brain cancer at age 13, Trevor Schaefer is now cancer free and the founder of Trevor's Trek Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to childhood cancer awareness and prevention. Trevor's Trek has launched a campaign to raise funds for the Children's Cancer Pavilion.
The stand-alone pavilion will be located next to the future Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivor Plaza near the duck pond in the east end of the park. The Children's Cancer Pavilion will be cantilevered over the water and will be ADA accessible with tables suitable for children, their families and friends. The cost is estimated at $50,000-$65,000. For more information, visit: http://www.trevorstrek.org/.
"The new pavilion will be a tranquil place to provide childhood cancer patients and survivors with inspiration, encouragement and support. Children are the future; cancer can destroy that." -- Trevor Schaefer
Cancer Survivor Plaza
Cancer survivors and their families will have a new gathering place in Boise thanks to a $1 million grant awarded to City of Boise by the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation. The grant will help pay for the construction of a cancer survivors plaza and parking improvements in the east end of Julia Davis Park.
Boise Mayor David Bieter made the announcement Feb. 18, 2009, at a meeting of the "Julia Davis Park: Second Century Coalition," a group of park supporters.
The plaza will feature:
- Positive Mental Attitude Walk with 14 inspirational plaques
- Road to Recovery with seven plaques with recommended strategies for recovery
- Kinetic wind sculpture featuring kites by local artist Mark Baltes titled 'Wind Dance'
The Bloch Cancer Foundation (http://www.blochcancer.org/) seeks to build a plaza in every state.
Abraham Lincoln Statue
A larger-than-life size bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln was unveiled June 19, 2010 at a ceremony attended by Mayor David H. Bieter, artist Irene Deely, organizer David Leroy, donors and civic leaders. Located in a grassy area east of the Idaho Black History Museum, the statue is an enlarged replica of the most famous image of Lincoln seated on a bench created by Idaho born sculptor Gutzon Berglum. According to Davis family legend, early Boise pioneer Tom Davis was acquainted with Abraham Lincoln in Illinois in the 1840s before he migrated west. In 1907, land Tom donated to the City of Boise became Julia Davis Park.
Nearby Places of Interest
This location provides opportunities to see birds and other
If you are interested in learning more about birding in Idaho
and the Idaho Birding Trail, see http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/ibt/
A colorful map updated in May 2013 showcases new additions to
the pathway, points of interest, pedestrian bridges, parking
locations and other valuable resources for users of the 25-mile
For updates on construction and other news about the Greenbelt,
sign up for our free e-newsletter. /about-us/greenbelt-news/
Number of Horseshoes courts: 16
There are 16 horseshoe pits for drop-in use.
Open Play Areas
Open play areas are cut grass spaces
that provide opportunities for healthy recreational
activities for people of all ages.
Age group: 2-5
The playground surface is wood chips.
Julia Davis Memorial, 2002, By Jerry Snodgrass Southeast end of
the Rose Garden
The generosity of Julia Davis to passing pioneers is
memorialized and honored in this bronze statue of her offering an
apple to a pioneer girl.
Boise Art Museum Sculpture Garden Various artists Behind the
Boise Art Museum
See different large-scale works by Northwest and national artists
in the outdoor sculpture garden. Works change annually.
Point of Origin, 1978, By John Mason Grounds of the Boise
This geometric sculpture was the first public art commissioned
for Boise. Look through each frame as you move about the piece and
see various perspectives.
Sacajawea and Pomp, 2003, Agnes Vincen Talbot Idaho Historical
Museum This bronze statue of Sacajawea and her baby was created in
honor of the Lewis & Clark bicentennial.
Capitol Bridge Tiles, Circa 1930's Artist Unknown On the 4 pillars
of Capitol Bridge Oregon Trail pioneers crossed through Boise and
are commemorated in this WPA project bridge built circa 1930.
Seated Lincoln, 1867 By Gutzon Borglum, Recast and detailed by
Irene Deely, 2010 North side near Black History Museum The statue
is an enlarged replica of the most famous image of Lincoln seated
on a bench created by Idaho born sculptor Gutzon Berglum.
Julia Davis Park has two pavilions, Rose Garden and Bandshell
that may be reserved for events.
Restrooms are now closed and park drinking fountains are turned off for the winter.
For a list of restrooms and portable restrooms that are available year around in parks and the reserves, click here.
Number of Tennis courts: 6
Tennis courts may be reserved by contacting:
Boise Parks and Recreation
One court must be open for public use at all times.
View our Rules
& Regulations for Tennis Court Use
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.