Magazine article Sunset

Boise Sees Green

Magazine article Sunset

Boise Sees Green

Article excerpt

Idaho's capital has turned its downtown river from an open sewer into a free-flowing park

Looking at the river now, it's hard to imagine what a mess it once was," says Debowden Bauer, pausing at the edge of the Boise River. As you stand in the shade of tall cottonwoods foresting the riverbank, it's easy to forget that booming downtown Boise is just a few blocks away. The only sounds are of water rushing over stones and leaves rustling in the lateafternoon breeze. Out on the water, a family of mergansers paddles slowly upstream, fuzzy chicks diving to feed on the gravelly riverbottom.

"Back in the 1950s, this river was literally a dump," continues Bauer, who is superintendent of design development with Boise Parks and Recreation Department. A group of splashing inner-tubers floats by. "I've been told that there was raw sewage from the city and waste from timber mills, and at least one slaughterhouse dumped blood and animal parts into the river. Most of the trees were gone, and the river's eroding banks were riprapped with junked cars."

A bicycle bell rings twice, and a family on mountain bikes pedals past as we cross a green, grassy glade to a sunny bench above the water. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.