Boise opens Greenbelt time capsule at Shoreline Park


1970 video offers background on Boise’s Greenbelt pathway

This 1970 video, narrated by Greenbelt proponent Bill Onweiler, offers some history on the Boise River and adjacent Greenbelt pathway.

This 1970 video, narrated by Greenbelt proponent Bill Onweiler, offers some history on the Boise River and adjacent Greenbelt pathway.

It took a box cutter, putty knife, screwdriver, hammer and some serious elbow grease from Boise Parks and Recreation maintenance worker Mike LaFee, but a time capsule buried at Shoreline Park in 1999 finally cracked open on Friday morning.

City officials opened the plastic time capsule, which was caulked shut and kept inside a vault in the sidewalk, as part of events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Boise Greenbelt. The capsule was buried at the site of the first paved portion of the Greenbelt, which was built in 1975.

Mayor David Bieter removed the contents from a plastic bag as a crowd of people looked on. The time capsule contained the Atkinson Associates report, a 1963 comprehensive growth plan that first floated the idea of “a green belt” through the city. It also contained a copy of the 1969 Boise River Greenbelt comprehensive design plan and, because it was buried in the ‘90s, a fanny pack.

Here’s a full list of the contents, according to the Department of Parks and Recreation:

Greenbelt Resource Book – a green, bound soft cover book containing information such as copies of news clippings about the Greenbelt, statistics, legal documents, ordinance.

Boise Magazine, Spring 1998 – Includes article “The Greenbelt Comes of Age,” a comprehensive look at the Greenbelt from its inception to present day, written by local writer Diane Ronayne.

Bollard Map – Boise River Greenbelt signage that is affixed to bollards along the pathway at each mile mark. This map shows the mileage along the Greenbelt, and the location of various sites along the pathway.

1999 Greenbelt Maintenance Cost list.

Committee List – Greenbelt & Pathways Committee members.

A list of features and characteristics of various segments of the Boise Greenbelt.

Kiwanis Club of Capital City Green Belt Committee Proposed Outline of Committee Activity, July 14, 1967.

Guidelines for the Boise River Green Belt, Amended July 21, 1970, signed by Boise Mayor Jay Amyx and Board of Park Commissioners President Stanley Burns, July 27, 1970.

Boise River Greenbelt brochure, published by the Boise Parks & Recreation Department.

Lapel Pin – an oblong-shaped lapel pin created for the 30th anniversary of the Boise River Greenbelt. The pin is white, with a blue and green river graphic and the text, “Boise River Greenbelt 30th Anniversary 1969-1999.”

Invitation to the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Boise River Greenbelt.

Newspaper clippings from the Idaho Statesman leading up to the 30th anniversary.

A letter from then-Gov. Dirk Kempthorne to the present Idaho governor.

A letter from then-Mayor Brent Coles to the present Boise mayor.

A letter from then-Parks and Rec director Jim Hall to the present Boise Parks and Recreation director.

Various photographs taken along the Greenbelt.

Memories of the Greenbelt, sent to Boise Parks & Recreation as part of the 30th anniversary.

Boise River Greenbelt Comprehensive Plan & Design

Atkinson Report

Boise Parks & Recreation dog leash, for people with dogs in parks who don’t have a leash.

Celebrations continue Saturday with the following events:

Boise Goes the ExtraMile run/walk at ExtraMile Arena, 1401 W Cesar Chavez Ln., at 10:30 a.m. This milelong fun run/walk takes participants along the Boise River Greenbelt near Boise State University. A prerace party is scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m. Register for the race online at

Food truck rally and party at Ann Morrison Park, 1000 S Americana Blvd., from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Celebrations continue near the park fountain with food, games and more.

Free jazz concert at Ann Morrison Park, 1000 S Americana Blvd., at 6 p.m. This event is family-friendly.

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Nicole Blanchard is the Idaho Statesman’s outdoors reporter. She grew up in Idaho, graduated from Idaho State University and Northwestern University and frequents the trails around Boise as much as she can.


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