A 12-acre chunk of land near Idaho Shakespeare Festival almost became a subdivision for 43 homes. Developer Jim Conger proposed converting an old industrial area in the Barber Valley for additional homes.
But the Idaho Shakespeare and neighbors challenged the project. A deal came together to purchase the land from the Triplett family which owned it. Instead of homes, the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands will protect it for open space.
Next week, the IFPL will break ground on a project that will transform the land from former industrial use to riparian habitat. Fundraising brought in more than $2 million to make it all happen.
“We are very excited to make this announcement today that we’ve been successful in raising sufficient funds to not only acquire the property but also develop it into a beautiful natural open space parkland for the community,” Judy Peavey-Derr, IFPL board member said.
Crews will work to reshape the land and plant new vegetation.
The longterm goal for the area will be new biking and walking connection, as well as blending it into the Idaho Shakespeare Festival grounds.
Portions of the area served as sewer ponds for Golden Dawn Estates, Riverstone International School and the Shakespeare Festival. The city is now served by sewer after annexation into the City of Boise.