Kathryn Albertson Park is a 41-acre special use park located near downtown Boise. A haven for wildlife and quiet contemplation, the park features wide, paved footpaths and reservable outdoor gazebos in a beautiful natural setting. It is one of the riverside parks in the "Ribbon of Jewels" named for prominent local women.
To protect wildife, please observe them from a distance and fishing, boating, swimming and wading are prohibited.
Our park map illustrates the location of walking paths, gazebos, restrooms and other amenities.
Colorful, informative signs inlaid in large rocks describe wildlife and environmental themes throughout the park. Highlights also include ponds, a fountain, a variety of mature trees and native vegetation, and glimpses of wildlife, including nesting waterfowl, herons, song birds, and deer.
The park is named for Kathryn McCurry Albertson, a Boise native who met her future husband, Joe Albertson, at the College of Idaho. Joe Albertson was the founder of Albertsons Inc.
To learn more about the design and special features of Kathryn Albertson Park, see our two-sided 8 1/2 x 11 brochure.
Due to waterfowl and wildlife nesting, dogs are prohibited in Kathryn Albertson Park from March 1 - June 30. Outside of this time, dogs are required to be kept on leash.
Vegetation in the park was chosen for its diversity in plant size, growth, and type. The plants offer food from the ground level to tree tops as well as nesting cover and protection.
Shallow ponds warm quickly in spring and stimulate the growth of aquatic insects and plants, which in turn become food for many kinds of wildlife. Islands in the ponds offer loafing and roosting spots for ducks and shelter nesting birds from predators.
Sodded lawn, one-third of the total park area, creates an open space and tempts the palates of species such as Canadian geese, pigeons, and rabbits.
History & Features
A bit of history can be found while walking around the park.
The Rookery, a gazebo named after a place where birds breed or congregate, sports the red tile roof that formerly topped Albertson's first supermarket, which opened in Boise in 1939. Supporting the roof are broad beams from an airport hangar previously located where Boise State University now stands, and once visited by Charles Lindbergh.
Designed as an outdoor classroom, The Rookery's displays depict wetland habitat, endangered species, bird adaptations, and riparian management. Although most of the rock used in this park is Boise sandstone, inlaid in the floor of The Rookery are small, reddish granite stones imported from Germany. Adjacent to The Rookery is a cross-section of the world's largest ponderosa pine tree, estimated to be 376 years old.
The second gazebo, The Eyrie, was named after the nest of a bird prey. The impressive stone and beam construction of The Rookery is repeated here. You will find a rustic, lean-to roof of huge rounded beams and specially milled split cedar poles. The roof and walls frame a secluded alcove with stone benches that face an arrangement of massive sandstone fountains.
The bird-related names of the gazebos are fitting, as bird watchers will discover. The presence and songs of the birds are an ongoing delight, and highlight any visit to the park. California Quail, Buffleheads, Great Blue Herons, Mallards and Yellowheaded Blackbirds are some of the more commonly sighted and heard birds.
Kathryn McCurry, a Boise native, met her future husband Joe Albertson, founder of Albertsons, Inc., at the College of Idaho. It was during a chemistry class that she spilled an acid solution on her leg, and Joe came to her rescue. They were married on New Year's Day in 1930.
Kathryn's unassuming attitude has kept her out of the spotlight, but not from being the light in many lives. Her inner strength and caring garner repeated praise, as have the Albertsons' generous donations to Albertson College of Idaho, Boise State University, and other institutions.
Dedicated on October 17, 1989, Kathryn Albertson Park was donated to Boise and the people of Idaho by Joe and Kathryn Albertson -- unique and precious treasure.
The park was designed to be an attractive home for resident and migratory wildlife in downtown Boise.
Kathryn Albertson Park houses a multitude of animal life. The most easily spotted are the many varieties of birds. Waterfowl, song and game birds, owls, and herons have found their own niches in the park.
Many animals share the water with the ducks and other birds. Salamanders, painted and boxed turtles can be seen as well as bullfrogs which can often be heard. Raccoons, beavers, rabbits, and voles can be found in the park. Red foxes sometimes visit, too.
Many birds and mammals are inactive during the day, so early morning and evening are the best times to observe wildlife. Sudden movements and excessive noise cause most animals to flee and hide, so listen, move quietly, look closely-the most interesting things in nature take place right under your nose.
This location provides opportunities to see birds and other wildlife.
The Idaho Birding Trail (IBT) is a network of sites and side-trips that provides the best viewing opportunities to see birds in Idaho. With 175 sites and about 2,000 miles of trail separated into four distinct regions the IBT represents a collection of bird watching hotspots, diverse habitats, and a glimpse of Idaho's rich natural heritage. In recognition of the educational and recreational opportunities it offers to the public, the House of Representatives passed a resolution in 2006 declaring the IBT as the official state birding trail of Idaho.
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 pathway.
For updates on construction and other news about the Greenbelt, sign up for our free e-newsletter. /about-us/greenbelt-news/
Park Ambassador Program
Park Ambassadors serve liaisons between park users and the Boise
Parks & Recreation Department (BPR). They report maintenance
needs, promote proper use of the park, and share information with
park users. In addition, they may share their unique hobbies and
skills through special tours and programs. Park Ambassadors commit
to visiting their park regularly for one year. All Ambassadors must
pass a criminal history background check and attend an orientation
prior to being accepted into the program.
If you are interested in applying for the Park Ambassador
program, go to http://bit.ly/bprvolunteers.
Kathryn Albertson Park has two facilities that may be reserved for ceremonies.
Park restrooms are available at this park. Restrooms are now open. Park drinking fountains are now operational.
For a list of restrooms and portable restrooms that are available year around in parks and the reserves, click here.
Maps created for the city's Walk 150 project provide distances for walking paths in 19 parks throughout the city. Check out the mileage for Places to Walk in this park at: http://www.walk150.org/places-to-walk/
Smoking is prohibited in all public parks, including within 20 feet of the Boise Greenbelt, except in designated areas within Ann Morrison and Julia Davis parks and city-owned golf courses.
NOTE: E-cigarettes are not prohibited under the ordinances.
Unauthorized vehicles will be towed at owner's risk and expense. Boise Valley Towing at (208) 389-9707.
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.