by Jennifer Wemhoff, The Groundwater Foundation
It's pronounced "Boy-see" NOT "Boy-zee." It was one of the original pilot communities involved in the Groundwater Guardian program, and has been designated every year since 1994. It's also the host of the 2017 Groundwater Foundation National Conference.
It has a population of over 250,000 and its nickname is the City of Trees. In fact, According to oral history, French-Canadian fur trappers
named Boise in the early 19th century. The trappers, after
crossing the hot, dry desert, crested a hill and, gazing
down up on the woods surrounding the Boise River,
exclaimed “Les bois! Les bois!” (“Woods! Woods!”). Fort
Boise was established in July of 1863 to keep peace in
the mining camps and to protect the Oregon Trail pioneers
from Indian raids. The City of Boise was established quickly
and served as a service center for gold and silver miners in
the nearby mountains and foothills.
The wooded Boise River is now the scenic backdrop for a
beautiful and popular greenbelt path and so many species
of trees have been planted that today Boise is known as
the “City of Trees.”
Boise is home to a number of interesting and unique attractions, including:
Basque Museum and Cultural Center (208-343-2671, 611 W. Grove St.)
Boise is home to the largest concentration of Basques per capita in
the U.S., and Boise also has North America’s only Basque museum,
the internationally renowned Oinkarl Basque Dancers and authentic
Esther Simplot Park (614 N Whitewater Park Blvd.)
An expansive 55-acre site encompasses approximately 23 acres of
ponds suitable for fishing, wading and swimming. The park features
include trails, docks, wetlands, boardwalks, shelters, grassy open
areas, a playground, bridges and restrooms. A meandering stream will
connect the park’s two ponds with Quinn’s Pond. It is the most recent
addition to the “Ribbon of Jewels”—a string of riverside parks named
for prominent local women.
Boise River Greenbelt
(208-384-4240, multiple starting points, including Kathryn Albertson Park)
mile riverfront Greenbelt, ideal for walking, jogging, bicycling, skating
and general relaxing, meanders through Boise. The paved pathway
connects several parks throughout the city.
World Center for Birds of Prey
(208-362-8687, 5668 W. Flying Hawk Ln.)
Visitors can see rare falcons and eagles up close and the inner
workings of an endangered species program. This unique center on
the outskirts of Boise is the most sophisticated facility in the world for
breeding and releasing birds of prey
Snake River Valley Wine Region
There are nearly 30 Idaho wineries within a 45 minute drive of
downtown Boise. Ten wineries and vineyards are located in the
Southwest Idaho Urban Wine District. The region boasts award-winning
wines and innovative wineries. Lush orchards, scenic valleys
and rugged mountains provide the perfect backdrop for wine tasting.
Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial
(208-345-0304, 777 S. 8th St.)
This memorial is an example of what can happen when a community
and an entire state come together for a cause. The first in the U.S. to
honor Anne Frank, it offers lessons on courage, strength, dignity of
human spirit and the value of human rights for all men and women,
and it will have a lasting impression on those who visit.
Table Rock (Southeast of downtown Boise)
This prominent local landmark is a popular spot for hikers and outdoor
adventurers. Table Rock offers challenging hiking and mountain biking
trails, and is easily accessible from the Old Idaho Penitentiary parking
lot. Offering stunning views of the Boise skyline, foothills and the
Treasure Valley, Table Rock is a favorite among trail enthusiasts.
Idaho Botanical Garden
(208-343-8649, 2355 Old Penitentiary Rd.)
Located in Boise’s Old Penitentiary historical district, the Idaho Botanical
Gardens enhances the community’s quality of life by promoting a
love of nature, and offering an enriching garden experience through
educational programs, botanical collections, a variety of entertainment,
cultural and community events.
Idaho State Capitol Building
(208-334-2475, 700 W Jefferson St.)
Idaho’s Capitol Building is the only one in the United States heated by
geothermal water. The hot water is tapped and pumped from a source
3,000 feet underground. Geothermal energy has a long history in Boise
starting back in the late 1800s.
Join us and be in Boise for the 2017 Groundwater Foundation National Conference! Come early and stay late to enjoy all that Boise has to offer. We hope to see you soon!
Find out more about Boise at www.boise.org.