Julia Davis Park



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. It is one of the riverside parks in the "Ribbon of Jewels" named for prominent local women.

Julia Davis Park is the cultural and historic heart of the city.  The 89.4-acre park is the home of Zoo Boise, Boise Art Museum, Idaho State Historical Museum, Discovery Center of Idaho and Idaho Black History MuseumFor information on the paddle boats, please call (208) 412-2278.

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. 

Julia Davis Park is open from sunrise to midnight. Park use guidelines provide visitors with an overview of the rules and regulations. Vehicles parked in "no parking" areas or left after midnight will be towed at owner's risk and expense. 

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.

Nearby Places of Interest

Abraham Lincoln Statue

JDabe.jpgA 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.


This location provides opportunities to see birds and other wildlife. 

idaho birding trailThe 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.

If you are interested in learning more about birding in Idaho and the Idaho Birding Trail, see http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/ibt/


Available by reservation or on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Bocce Court Rules

Childhood Cancer Pavilion

TrevortrekDiagnosed 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.  For more information, visit: http://www.trevorstrek.org/

The stand-alone pavilion is 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 is cantilevered over the water and is ADA accessible with tables suitable for children, their families and friends.  

"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 


Fishing is permitted in the park from November through March. (excludes ponds within Zoo Boise)

Wondering about where to fish in Boise ponds? The Idaho Department of Fish & Game stocks several ponds in city parks maintained by the Boise Parks and Recreation. For the stocking schedule, see Idaho Fish & Game Stocking Information. 


Greenbelt Parking

The map showcases points of interest, pedestrian bridges, parking locations and other valuable resources for users of the 25-mile pathway. 



JDbio.gifThe 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. 


Number of Horseshoes courts: 16

There are 16 horseshoe pits for drop-in use.

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 beth@markley.com or 208-484-4424.

Open Play Areas

Open play areas are cut grass spaces that provide opportunities for healthy recreational activities for people of all ages.

Operating Hours

Park is open from sunrise to midnight. 

Park Ambassadors

Park Ambassador SignPark Ambassadors serve as liaisons between park users and the Boise Parks and 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.

Interested in becoming a Park Ambassador, please complete an application.


Swingsets: yes
Age group: 2-5

The playground surface is wood chips.BPR All General 04 30 2007 JULIA DAVIS PEOPLE PLAYGROUND BILL GRANGE

Public Art

Julia Davis Memorial by Jerry Snodgrass 

Wind Dance by Mark Baltes

Seated Lincoln by Gutzon Borglum


Julia Davis Agriculture PavilionJulia Davis Park has two pavilions, the Rose Garden and Gene Harris Bandshell that may be reserved for events.

The Rose Garden, Boise Pavilion and Agriculture Pavilion in Julia Davis Park will be available to be reserved at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1, 2017 for the 2017 season.


Restrooms in the Agriculture Pavilion are open year around.

Richard & Annette Bloch Cancer Survivor Plaza

Bloch Cancer Survivor Plaza

Cancer survivors, patients, families and health-care providers have a new gathering place in Boise thanks to a $1 million grant awarded to City of Boise by the Richard & Annette Bloch Foundation.

The cancer survivors plaza features include: 

  • 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 project includes a new-32 stall parking lot, walking paths and colorful landscaping. 

River Node

river node dedication

The River Node is located along the Boise River Greenbelt in Julia Davis Park near the Bandshell. 

Boise Host Lions raised the funds for construction of this window to the Boise River. The River Node provides a place for users of the Boise River Greenbelt to sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Boise River. 

The River Node was conceived as part of a design competition completed in 2006 celebrating the first century of Julia Davis Park, Boise’s first park. There are plans for three additional river nodes along the Boise River Greenbelt. 

Boise Host Lions is the oldest Lions club in Boise and Lions Club International is the world’s largest service club organization with nearly 1.5 million members worldwide. 

For more information on the project you can contact Toby Norton, Project Manager, tnorton@cityofboise.org, (208) 608-7635.

Rose Garden

Julia Davis Rose GardenIn 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 Idaho 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 reservations, please see the Boise Parks & Recreation reservations website.

Interested in volunteering at the Rose Garden? Boise Parks and Recreation staff is holding work sessions on Wednesdays, from 8:00 - 11:00 a.m., from mid-March through September. 
Projects include weeding, deadheading, painting fence, picking up trash and a variety of other tasks that require attention as needed. Although some knowledge of plant care is preferred, our professional staff will provide direction and training for anyone who is interested in lending a hand. So don't be shy, all skill levels are welcome! If interested, you can sign up to volunteer here

In spring 2014, roses in the park experienced an aggressive disease called Bacterial Cane Blight. 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 and  Boise Parks and Recration staff continue to work to build protective barriers on the roses and to seal "wound spots" as the leaves drop off. In the past years, they have waited until leaves start dropping off of the roses to spray a Copper Based Fungicide. As the cooler weather starting coming in late August of 2015 and temperatures dropped below 65-70 degrees at night; they started applying the Copper Based Fungicide to give the roses an opportunity to absorb the product hopefully giving roses a chance to have that protective barrier that will help seal the “wound spots.”  

Rotary Grand Plaza

jd rotary plazaThe plaza was envisioned as part of the design competition in 2006 as the park was preparing for its century celebration. Located along the mall road between the rose garden and Zoo Boise, the new plaza creates a central gathering place in the park. It features a 4’ diameter bronze medallion that includes a seed and roots signifying the beginning of the City of Boise and the park. Other design elements harken back to the apple orchards that once covered the land that now serves as Julia Davis Park. 

Diane Davis Myklegard, great granddaughter of Tom and Julia Davis, leads the Second Century Coalition that has been raising funds since 2007 for these park improvements. Rotary Clubs in the greater Boise metro area joined in and raised $150,000 towards the construction of the plaza.


Number of Tennis courts: 6

Tennis courts may be reserved by contacting:
Boise Parks and Recreation
(208) 608-7680

One court must be open for public use at all times.

View our Rules and Regulations for Tennis Court Use

Smoking Prohibition

Boise Smokefree Park SignSmoking 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.

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.