Land donation will add new ‘Ribbon of Jewels’ park to Boise River


BoiseDev Project Tracker

Sue Howell Park, which BoiseDev first revealed was in the works in 2017, is moving closer to reality. It will add to Boise’s Ribbon of Jewels, parks named for prominent women in the community.

The park will be built on a 16-acre tract of landalong Warms Springs Avenue near Idaho Highway 21.The City of Boise had to annex the land and several other parcels to accept the donation.

The park site is currently owned by SHP, LLC – which is controlled by Aaron Howell, Sue’s husband.

Sue Howell Park
Aaron Howell, Sue Howell, Mayor Dave Bieter and Doug Holloway unveil a rendering of the park during a news conference Wednesday. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

“I’m proud to be donating this park will honor my beautiful wife Sue,” Howell said. “This park will encompass two of Sue’s loves – fitness and learning. It will have many features, including a Lady Idaho statue, fitness court and other fitness nodes, and an autumn blaze maple path. The autumn blaze is my wife’s favorite tree.”

Howells’ Boise legacy

Aaron & Sue founded Northwest Lineman College in 1993, which has now expanded to three additional states.

Howell noted that public input will be key to development of the park.

[Project Tracker: Sue Howell Park]

“We will also be looking for the financial support of companies, foundations and individuals whose goals along with the vision of this park,” Howell said.

“Signature sites from around the state will be featured in the park,” Boise Mayor Dave Bieter said. “With so many newcomers, that’s a wonderful thing.”

“It will have a pond – we’re calling it ‘Pond Oreille,’ and it will be in the shape of Lake Pend Oreille in north Idaho,” Howell said. “The Lady Idaho statue will pay tribute to the Idaho State Flag.”

[October 2017:Boise could see new riverside park if the “ifs” can be worked out]

“We have a strong tradition of giving for park sites and development,” Bieter said.“It’s just such a great day when you see that tradition continue – the Davis Family, the Morrison Family, the Albertson family – and the Howells belong in that company. It represents the best of what this city means.”

The park is the 11th in the Ribbon of Jewels.

“This is one of the coolest things that can happen when someone says they want to do something awesome for the city,” Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said.

Full buildout of the park will take several years, dependent on funding. The donation will be considered by the Boise City Council during its December 18th meeting.

Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at

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