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A group of volunteers – Julia Davis Park: Second Century Coalition – and the City of Boise are planning to build a community gathering area in Julia Davis Park. This fall, representatives of a collaborative group of area Rotary clubs presented a combined gift of $150,000 to name the project: The Rotary Grand Plaza.
At the request of Julia Davis’ great-granddaughter, Diane Davis Myklegard, and her Second Century Coalition, eight area Rotary clubs stepped up to support the plaza, which will be located between the Rose Garden and Zoo Boise.
Participating clubs include Boise, Boise Metro, Boise Southwest, Boise Sunrise, Boise Centennial, Eagle/Garden City, Boise East, and West Boise Rotary Clubs. The groups spent three years raising the funds through events and personal contributions.
The Rotary Grand Plaza is one of a number of projects intended as part of a renovation that started in 2007, when the park's Centennial Celebration attracted more than 15,000 people.
Improvements elsewhere in Julia Davis Park, accomplished or planned by the Coalition in partnership with the City of Boise, include:
Of the total philanthropic need to complete these renovations and improvements, private donors, associations and foundations have contributed nearly $800,000. The City of Boise has made more than $1.7 million worth of infrastructure and accessibility improvements, such as expanded sidewalks. The Bloch Foundation gift for the Cancer Survivors Pavilion totals $1 million for construction and a maintenance endowment.
While the combined Rotary gift to name the Rotary Grand Plaza has been completed, another $600,000 must be raised to complete the structure. The Second Century Coalition is soliciting gifts from individuals to name specific elements within the Rotary Grand Plaza.
Funds were provided by a $1 million grant from the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation for the construction of a plaza with a new paved parking lot, sidewalks, walls with stone veneer, and vibrant landscaping. The grant provides $900,000 for construction and an endowment of $100,000 for maintenance.
The Kansas City-based foundation has funded 24 parks throughout the United States and Canada. The parks were created to give hope and courage to newly diagnosed patients, to inspire determination for those who are fighting the disease, and to reduce fear in those who have not had cancer.
In the new plaza, the cancer survivor message is presented in a “Positive Mental Attitude” walk and “Road to Recovery” signage.
The “Positive Mental Attitude” journey begins on a path that leads from the parking lot to the plaza. A welcome sign in the center of a widened sidewalk is the starting point for a sandstone ribbon in the concrete that leads the visitor down the path to the plaza. As the ribbon reaches the edge of the sidewalk, it turns into a series of curved sandstone walls that portray “Positive Mental Attitude” messages.
The pathway loops around “Wind Dance,” a kinetic kite sculpture created by local artist Mark Baltes that includes a gazing globe at the base to pick up the reflections of both the kites overhead and colorful landscaping around the plaza.
The “Road to Recovery” message is presented on a series of artistic panels in the plaza surrounding the “Wind Dance” sculpture.
Landscaping will be in a vibrant palette of blue, red, orange, yellow, and white using plants that are consistent with healing gardens offering textures and smells.
The project includes a new 32 stall parking lot and widening of Julia Davis Drive to allow two-way traffic through the entire park. The current exit-only access to Myrtle Street will be converted to a right in/right out access.
In mid July, the first phase of a bronze sculpture honoring Idaho agriculture was installed in the Make Your Mark Plaza of the Agriculture Pavilion in Julia Davis Park.
The Bounty of Idaho Agriculture will feature a large relief sculpture of the State of Idaho in bronze, atop a river of ribbons featuring the names of some of the nearly 200 Idaho commodities. Boise artist Irene Deely designed the piece with direction from the Julia Davis Park Second Century Coalition.
The first installment, a bronze sculpture of the State of Idaho, was installed earlier this month on the wall of the restroom building facing the plaza. The next installment – a series of bronze ribbons – will flow like a river behind the Idaho sculpture, along the same lines as the Snake River Valley in the Idaho sculpture.
The names of major Idaho commodities will be arranged along the length of the ribbon/river portion of the sculpture, without preference and each using the same letter size. The words will follow a curved line to flow with the artwork.
The remaining piece of the sculpture is scheduled to be completed in late December 2014 and will be installed soon afterward, weather permitting.
JULY 2014 - Ground breaking on the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivor's Plaza in the East end of Julia Davis Park in early July. The plaza is scheduled for completion by October 31st. A road closure is in effect, so access to the East end of the park is limited this summer.
Every First Thursday, May through September, Docent Tours begin at 4 pm at the Julia Davis Rose Garden in Boise. Here are some photos from our July tours.
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Inquiries about park reservations or events? Contact Boise City Parks and Recreatonor call 208.608.7600.
firstname.lastname@example.org PO Box 8143 Boise, ID 83707
Help the future of Julia Davis Park. Donations through ICF's secure site support Julia Davis: The Second Century projects designed to educate, enlighten and illuminate. Donate On-line Now!
Gifts to our park Partners can be made through their websites, listed on our partners page.
Take a virtual tour of our wonderful park. Learn more about what the park has to offer now. Then see what we are adding for the future.
Park Tour - Projects Tour - Map