The project consists of proposed enhancements within the Boise River Riparian and Greenbelt Setback Areas including:
Phase 1a Quinn's Pond and Greenbelt Enhancements
In-stream protection of federally sanctioned alternative transportation enhancements spanning the Boise River (36th Street Bicycle /Pedestrian Bridge); Bank stabilization at Quinn’s Pond in association with the realigned Thurman Mill irrigation diversion and the Boise River Recreation Park.
Realignment of the Boise River Greenbelt with inter-connectivity to the pedestrian bridge and proposed kayak/boater trail.
The site is a former industrial concrete batch plant and gravel pit consisting of significantly disturbed landscape features. The site is located at the South end of Esther Simplot Park and Quinn’s Pond. The river bank, adjacent to Quinn’s Pond, is composed of loose gravels and is sparsely vegetated with dry land grasses and trees of low habitat and forage value.
A narrow, intermittent fringe of riparian vegetation has established itself along the south side of the existing Greenbelt path. Certain invasive plant species have established themselves in the immediate area. The balance of the property lacks top soil. Grading of the river banks has generally altered the site’s hydrologic and biologic relationship to the river. The proposed project offers a balanced design for the enhancement of biologically marginal Class A lands with provisions for improvement of flood flows and future public parkland improvements.
Selective work in and around this area will result in bank stabilization, future footbridge armoring, removal of remnant industrial trash and debris from the area, realignment of the Greenbelt path to insure separation of pedestrian pathway users and boaters and removal of invasive plant species to be replaced with native plant material. Grading and development of upland areas within the project area is necessary to accommodate park improvements including future construction of a paved bicycle pedestrian bridge with interconnected and re-aligned Greenbelt and boater access path.
There are no known bald eagle nesting sites adjacent to the river in the immediate area. There are identified bald eagle perch trees in the area, but none on the property itself. Existing riparian habitat along the majority of the 70’ Greenbelt setback provides screening opportunities and potential for future perch trees. The realignment of the existing Class I paved, 12’ wide, Greenbelt path will continue to be located within designated Class A land area.
The project will materially address the site’s environmental short comings that are connected to the sites past industrial use. The project will improve setback and Class A land functions and values including, but not limited to: flooding, water quality, riparian vegetation, wetlands, bald eagle perches, enhanced passive recreation opportunities, and pathway connectivity. Waivers are appropriate for removal of vegetation, construction of paved paths; lack of top soil; to provide for enhanced flood capacity; address intended recreational uses; and provide for sustainable public improvement of open space values, access, and passive recreation.