Below the Surface: Boise Whitewater Park
As Phase II of the Boise Whitewater Park continues to come to life, you can literally see the exciting wave-riding and river rafting potential.
However, like most projects of this scale, some of the most intensely researched and long-term impactful portions of this whitewater park will be out of site, as well as for most, out of mind.
For example, specificially in this case, what may be difficult to remember for some patrons is that what is now a field of construction equipment, rebar and concrete will soon be underneath the waves you are riding.
Many of the most important portions of this project, in fact, have very little to do with the pleasure-seeking surf enthusiast.
For close to a decade, Greg Allington, Senior Biologist for McMillen Jacobs, and his team have been working behind the scenes with a plethora of agencies, and the City of Boise to ensure that this project not only caters to human interests but the sustainable continuance of one of Boise's finest resources.
Morton McMillen, Executive Vice President of McMIllen Jacobs Associates has also been around since day one of this phase two project.
'To me, the most fulfilling part of this project is seeing all the hard work put in in the extensive permitting and the careful planning process to make sure we get it JUST right," McMillen explained. "Now, only now we are in construction phases. It's been amazing to see this being born."
McMillen's intensive understanding of the finite details of the project was evident when walking through the site. Walking through the pool-and-weir fish ladder, he carefully and clearly articulated the step by step process of the different varieties of native fish and how this ladder system enables their travels upstream.
"Notice, how the walls of the fish ladder are painted to perfectly match the natural river bottom," Allington chimed in, laughing. "Those are the sort of details we are following in our permitting process. No standard gray concrete here."
"This has been a long process, and we're proud of the support we've received and the feedback we've gotten from the extensive public outreach during this project," said Kelly Burrows, Park Development Coordinator for the City of Boise. "With any growth, there needs to an increase in responsible oversight, and we're prepared to staff and manage this space appropriately."
McMillen, Burrows and Allington all agreed that this project is top-of-the-line and top-of-class.
It was so refreshing to hear, and know, that the quality of this project goes much deeper than surface level.