Caring and active citizens are the heart and soul of our community. Hulls Gulch, Castle Rock, Harrison Hollow and Hillside to the Hollow Reserves are perfect examples. So too are the 2001 and 2015 open space levies, where citizens lead the campaigns to raise $20 million for conservation.
This year, a dedicated group of residents from the Barber Valley Neighborhood Association helped conserve the most recent nature area by working with neighbors, non-profit groups and the City of Boise. The parcel is 25 acres and located on the slope above East Grand Prairie Drive in Harris Ranch and adjacent to Idaho Department of Fish and Game land.
“It seems so obvious in retrospect,” said John Mooney, BVNA President. “This parcel is in the middle of the major wildlife corridor in our neighborhood, it has great potential for recreational connectivity, and it’s a critical piece of the view shed across the entire valley. But as a neighborhood association, we weren’t sure how to proceed.” One entity that John reached out to was the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley.
“We could not have done this without the coaching and advice LTTV provided throughout the process. Over many coffee dates and phone calls, we learned how to attract conservation minded donors and how to execute the campaign,” said Mooney.
Another key organization was the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, who provided advice and offered to serve as the fiscal agent, managing donations and pledges.
In the end, the Land Trust also pledged $25,000 to the purchase of the property from the Bev Miller Fund. But not without a great deal of discussion and due diligence.
The Land Trust’s contribution toward the purchase of this parcel is from a Land Trust supporter who passed away several years ago. A portion of her estate entrusted to the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley is dedicated to conserving land and easements that improve the opportunity for hiking in the foothills. After a visit to the property the LTTV Board agreed it was a worthy project. “A trail gently climbs the slope to amazing views of the Barber Valley,” said Land Trust Board President Sam Sandmire. “This was enough to convince the LTTV Board to invest in the parcel. But in addition, this acquisition conserves a future opportunity for trail access pending decisions by the adjacent Harris Ranch development. But if the Ramaker parcel was not conserved, the trail potential would have been lost forever.” The property is also part of the scenic backdrop of Harris Ranch and is visible from the nearby Shakespeare Theatre.
Bev Miller is not here today but her legacy will live on as part of her estate was used to acquire the parcel. Bev would be pleased to know hiking access will be provided in a manner that is sensitive to the critical big game winter range of the area as well.
“It is impressive to see what a group of dedicated citizens can do to conserve the special open spaces in the Treasure Valley,” said Sandmire. “We appreciated being part of this amazing campaign.”