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City of Idaho Falls receives Idaho Smart Growth Award

Idaho Falls

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The following is a news release from the city of Idaho Falls.

IDAHO FALLS – The City of Idaho Falls was presented with the 2015 Redevelopment Award for the River Gardens at Taylor’s Crossing project at the 11th annual Idaho Smart Awards Celebration in Boise last week. This is the third award the city has received over the past two years for this project.

The River Gardens at Taylor’s Crossing project, designed by Rock Solid Landscape, transformed 1,400 linear feet along the Snake River in Idaho Falls from an unusable and dangerous riverbank into a two-acre park with picnic areas, outdoor amphitheater, walking paths and fishing piers. The project also included the planting of perennials, trees and sod grasses; placement of boulder retaining walls; and establishing ADA access to the river.

Smart growth describes a range of community decisions regarding land use, transportation, housing, development patterns and the preservation of cultural identity and natural beauty. Smart growth actions equally benefit a community’s economy, environment and its citizens. Each year, Idaho Smart Growth celebrates projects from around the state that exemplify smart growth principles. Submissions are reviewed by a jury of experts, and awards are given in a variety of categories.

“This project couldn’t have happened without the vision, dedication, fundraising efforts and generosity of our community partners – McNeil Development, Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency, Rotary Club of Idaho Falls, Idaho Falls Power and Rock Solid Landscape,” states Greg A. Weitzel, parks & recreation director.

“City leaders recognize the river walk as a significant asset to our community. It provides a beautiful and wholesome recreational environment for residents and guests. I am committed to maintaining, upgrading and, where possible, expanding the river walk so future generations can enjoy it as we do,” states Mayor Casper.

“We also offer a hearty congratulations to Snake River Landing for receiving the Green Building award for Bandon Apartments, a LEED Platinum senior living facility. LEED Platinum is a difficult standard to meet,” adds Casper.

Other award recipients:

Citizen Advocacy: Hillside to Hollow. The development process for this site plan, which will protect more than 300 acres of open space in the City of Boise, included a concerted effort to encourage input and partnerships among citizens, nonprofit organizations, private landowners and government agencies.

Commercial: Belwood 301. This renovation of a historic 20,000 square-foot empty building into a mixed-use complex in downtown Sandpoint used high standards for energy efficiency and green products and systems.

Green Building: Bandon Apartments. The new 48-unit senior apartment building in Idaho Falls, a part of the Snake River Landing mixed-use redevelopment, earned LEED Platinum certification.

Mixed-Use: Surrel’s Place. A modern live-work and gallery space for an artist-in-residency program in Garden City supports the city’s flourishing art scene and encourages community involvement. It was formerly the home of the late artist, Surel Mitchell.

Public Policy: Communities in Motion 2040. The regional long-term transportation plan for Ada and Canyon counties supports many smart growth principles and encompasses multiple progressive planning elements.

Transportation: West Bridge. This new bike/pedestrian bridge across the Boise River provides essential connectivity between the northern and southern sections of the Garden City Greenbelt and beyond.

Transportation: 27th St. Main to State. This project in Boise changed a dangerous four-lane through-way into a neighborhood amenity by adding bike lanes, a two-way left turn lane and parking for adjacent commercial buildings.

Charles Hummel Award: Nancy Chanel. This award is given by the Idaho Smart Growth board of directors in honor of architect, civic leader and Idaho Smart Growth co-founder, Charles Hummel. The 2015 award is given to Nancy Chaney, former Moscow council member and mayor, for her longtime smart growth leadership and advocacy.