In 1928 the story was somewhat the same when the Statesman ran a piece about the raging Boise and a successful effort to keep damage at Julia Davis Park to a minimum.
“The angry river, gnawing at the banks skirting Julia Davis park was foiled of its prey, the projecting point near the tennis courts, by an all night battle of the street department, said Harry K. Fritchman, chairman of the park board…”
“The point in question was “made” ground, manufactured from tin cans, cracker boxes, decaying automobiles, street litter and cigaret (sic) cartons, said Fritchman. When the river started to work on it, this material gave way like butter under a hot knife—until the street department commenced to pile rocks along the banks, stopping the flow.”
I was struck by the description of the river bank and the trash of which it was comprised. Want to go for a swim there? Eager to fry a trout plucked from the river’s waters?
One of the purposes of studying history is to better appreciate how far we have come. The Boise River was once little more than a sewer. It was so difficult to access that many residents of the city never even saw it.
To learn more about the way the river was, and about its remarkable transformation into a Boise icon you can do no better than read Pathway of Dreams, Building the Boise Greenbelt, by the late David Proctor.