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Be the creative mind behind the new look of a local island


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RIGBY — It may not be an tropical island getaway, but soon locals will have a chance to design their own slice of island paradise right here in eastern Idaho.

It’s all part of the Jefferson County’s DIY Island contest — a competition to landscape and design the island in the manmade Jefferson Lake.

“I think it’s a great contest, I think it’s a great chance for the locals to get involved. I think it’s going to be a really fun family activity,” local Liz McNamee said.

The native cottonwood trees were removed last year, and local officials say the island on Jefferson County Lake has been in need of a facelift ever since.

“Those cottonwood trees died and were falling over and creating a safety hazard so the island had to be cut bare last year, but this is the people’s park,” said Rebecca Squires, director of Jefferson County Parks and Recreation said. “We wanted to give people the opportunity to have a say on what goes out on the island.”

The Jefferson County Parks and Recreation department is hoping the public will have fresh ideas and concepts to transform the island into a destination.

“Should we have more beach front? Or should we try to restore it into a wilderness area? Should we put in a little heritage farm with fruits and vegetables? (or) a water park?” Squires said.


Tia Kasper and Liz McNamee enjoying a sunny morning at Jefferson County Lake.

Squires said designs need to be submitted on a 24-inch by 36-inch poster board. She said anyone in east Idaho can enter the contest, and she’s already gotten some creative entries.

“We’ve had inquiries from the landscape folks at BYU-Idaho and from cub scout groups. This is really a contest for all ages. We’re excited to see what people think and how they want their island to look,” Squires said.

The Parks and Recreation department will select 10 entries for the public to vote on at the July 2nd Independence Day celebration held at the lake. The winner will get a $100 Grand prize, second place $25 gift card and third place $10 gift card.

“Really what should the island look like? What are our needs here?” Squires said.

All designs need to be submitted by June 24 at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Rigby. Squires said the project for the island will begin around fall and be completed by the end of next spring.