The Treasure Valley is home to many amenities. There are concert halls, shopping malls, reservoirs, and everything in between. However, there are few that compare to the ever beautiful park. Whether it is run by a community, a city, or the state, the parks here in the Boise are a fantastic part of the Idaho experience. They provide a place for residents to enjoy the great outdoors, a place to exercise, and a place to relax.
Three of the Boise- Nampa area parks that are loved and visited most often would have to be Kleiner Park, DeMeyer Park, and Eagle Island State Park. However, these awesome parks weren’t always what they are today. Did you know that these parks were all, at one point or another, farms? And not just any farms. These parks were the farms of prominent people and organizations in the community so they are rich in Idaho heritage.
Usually, in booming urban areas like Boise, farms, especially large ones, are usually turned into new neighborhoods by local construction companies and investors. These are great assets to the community and they are sorely needed, but there is something wonderful that happens when, instead of being developed for residency, a community landmark like a farm, turns into another landmark, like a park. Not to mention it raises the value of the other homes in the area, so they are good for both resident and developer.
Julius M. Kleiner— the History of Kleiner Park
Julius M. Kleiner was a Russian immigrant to the United States. Sailed over the pacific to Seattle where he began doing odd jobs here and there until a career in the creamery business brought him to the Boise area. He originally bought the massive parcel of land at the corner of Fairview and Eagle Roads in the 40s from a local corporation that was only using it to store equipment. He converted the land into a dairy farm— which it remained as such— until the 1970s. After his death, the land was sold to the City of Meridian. The park wasn’t open for visitors until 2013 however.
Kleiner Park Now
Now days, Kleiner Park is a great place to enjoy an afternoon in a safe and fun environment. It is home to an amphitheater, tens of acres of grass covered hills, a playground, picnic areas and pavilion, and so much more. There is also a fishing pond and a senior center in the middle of the park. In other areas of the park there is also a community garden, a half-court basketball court, bocce ball, and so on. It is a great place, one that has been thoroughly loved and enjoyed since its opening. (Meridiancity.org)
Albert and Hazel DeMeyer— the History of DeMeyer Park
While the history of DeMeyer Park is not as well-known as Kleiner Park, it is nonetheless a centerpiece of the community. Albert and Hazel DeMeyer owned and operated their farm on the 10-acre land that is now DeMeyer Park. There they had barns, a pond, a silo, and their home. They farmed there for many years until, in the 70s, they donated the land to the city to be turned into a park. Over the years, the children of Albert and Hazel have donated more money to upgrade and build up the park making it one of the nicest parks in town.
DeMeyer Park Now
The DeMeyer Park that we know and love today is a bit different than the farm of the DeMeyers. While most of the landmarks are gone, the old silo still stands tall at the northwestern edge of the park and the duck pond is still located at the parks center. Aside from the pond and silo, there is a playground, sand volleyball, a basketball court, and acres of open grass to enjoy. If you are looking for a place to relax, play, or even exercise, then you need to check out DeMeyer Park. It is tucked in the DeMeyer neighborhood, so you may want to look at a map before you try and find it. Don’t worry, though, there are signs to help people find it. (Parks.Boise.Org)
The History of Eagle Island State Park
Eagle Island State park is arguably the largest park in the valley. It is a massive gathering place for everyone to enjoy. However, it didn’t start that way. The Eagle Island State Park land changed hands a few times since it was first settled back in the 1800s. It was first farmed by the first settlers to the island. They tilled the land, built irrigation canals, and homesteaded the area. The farm then went to some other early residents of the City of Eagle and then it was passed to the Idaho Department of Corrections which used it as a prison farm. It stayed that way until the 70s when it was then given to the state to be a park. It was then converted into the park that we know today.
Eagle Island Park Today
Due to its sheer size, the park at Eagle Island is one of most wild of all parks. It is literally hundreds of acres in size making it great for exploring, horseback riding, and much more. The large space is used quite a bit for conventions including Civil War reenactments, Renaissance festivals, and much more. But there is a lot more than just space at Eagle Island state Park. There is also a great swimming area, water slides, a playground, disc golf, and even volleyball. It is a load of fun, so you best come check it out. However, it is important to remember that you either need a state park parking pass or pay a small fee to park there each time.
Parks are a great part of the Treasure Valley lifestyle. They provide residents and visitors with so much to do and enjoy. To learn more about parks in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, or anywhere else in the Treasure Valley, call us here at the Hughes Group today! Our licensed real estate agents will gladly answer any of your questions.