Community Attraction

In Boise, the centerpiece parks are the 10 parks that line the Boise River, known as the Ribbon of Jewels. Each park is named in honor of notable Boise women, from philanthropists to olympians.

The Boise River Greenbelt serves as the uniting ribbon that links these precious jewels— the properties given to the city in honor of some of Boise’s finest civic leaders. The parks are legacies of these remarkable women and their commitment to their community.

The range of activities in these parks is astounding. From peaceful nature walks and calm water paddleboarding to boisterous festivals and disc golf, they offer a great way to explore Boise’s wild side without leaving town. To learn more, check out this PDF the City of Boise created summarizing each park and its namesake.


Kristin Armstrong is a professional road cyclist that started her Team USA journey at 17 as a Junior Olympian in swimming. Since then, Kristin has achieved a great deal including completing the Hawaii Ironman World Championship as a triathlete, as well as overcoming a career ending diagnosis of osteoarthritis by turning to cycling as therapy. Kristin won U.S. Olympic Gold Medals in the Time Trial (2008, 2012, 2016), three World Titles, five National Championships and numerous other victories.

Kristin Armstrong Municipal Park, a shady 28-acre park on the north bank of the Boise River, is one of Boise’s oldest and most popular parks. Created in 1918 as Boise Tourist Park campground, the city purchased the park in 1927. A favorite destination for family reunions and company gatherings, the park has picnic sites and a shelter, a playground, bocce courts and a restroom.


Marianne Williams has dedicated her time and energies to her family and various civic activities benefiting the Treasure Valley. She has volunteered her services to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, worked to enrich the lives of senior citizens as the manager of a senior citizen complex and—along with her husband—actively supports numerous other civic organizations—often electing to do so anonymously. Marianne has played a vital role in the support of collegiate athletics at Boise State University, and has served on the Bronco Athletic Association Board of Directors.

Marianne Williams Park, a 72-acre park located on the Boise River in East Boise’s Barber Valley, was donated in 2005 by Larry Williams in honor of Marianne. Amenities include open space, two large ponds, paved walking paths, a gazebo, picnic shelter, restroom and benches.


In 1950, Alta and Dallas moved the Harris Brothers Lumber Company sawmill to the Boise area and began acquiring land along the Boise River. They established a ranch raising cattle, which still operates today. The Harris Ranch development takes its name from this family enterprise. Dallas and Alta were true partners in business and life. Alta has invested energy in civic and religious activities as well as promoting Christian education.

The undeveloped park site is located on the north bank of the Boise River in the Harris Ranch development. Once developed, amenities may include sports fields, a playground, restrooms, pickleball courts, bocce courts and a connection to the Boise River Greenbelt.


Ann Morrison was known locally for her great civic interest and friendliness. Ann Morrison Park was developed and then deeded to the City of Boise by the Harry W. Morrison Foundation on June 7, 1959. That day, thousands of residents came out to see the 153-acre park, which serves as a place of beauty, rest, and recreation for all generations.

The park features a large fountain, playground, tennis courts, lighted softball diamonds, soccer and lacrosse fields, a disc golf course, volleyball court, bocce courts, outdoor gym and a picnic pavilion.


Dona Larsen was an active member of the Boise community since 1956, when she and her husband, Dorrell, moved to the Treasure Valley. A stay-at-home mother raising her 10 children, Dona also spent seven years running the girls’ summer softball and basketball programs for Boise City Recreation. She began teaching physical education full time at East Junior High in 1970, as well as coaching girls’ track and volleyball. Dona retired in 2000 at the age of 72.

The 14.5-acre park, which sits on the site of the old East Junior High School, is owned by Boise State University. Thanks to a donation from the David and Debra Larsen Huber Family Foundation, the site is a multi-use sports complex.


Esther Simplot has become synonymous with the performing arts in Boise. Her untiring devotion and commitment included co-founding the Boise Opera Company and construction in 1992 of the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy and the Academy Annex in 1996. Esther Simplot Park was dedicated in 2016.

Esther Simplot Park, an expansive 55-acre park encompassing approximately 23 acres of ponds, is suitable for fishing, wading and swimming. Amenities include trails, docks, wetlands, boardwalks, shelters, grassy open areas, playground, bridges and restrooms.


A long-time member of the Catholic Women’s League, Bernardine was active in the church throughout her life. She was also involved in civic organizations, including the Silver Sage Council of the Girl Scouts and St. Alphonsus Hospital.

The park, which sits on the site of the company’s gravel operation, was donated to the City of Boise in 1997. Bernardine Quinn Riverside Park features a 22-acre pond, fishing docks and open space.


Bethine was the founder and former president of the Sawtooth Society, established to protect the Sawtooth National Recreation Areas. She served as a member of the Idaho Conservation League and on the governing council of The Wilderness Society. Bethine received an honorary doctorate degree from Boise State University and The Wilderness Society’s highest honor in 2009.

The 1.6-mile section of pathway on the Boise River is located in a 24-acre natural area, which includes valuable riparian vegetation, wildlife nesting spots and several small irrigation canals that have been transformed into streams inhabited by fish.


Known for her kindness and gracious hospitality, Julia welcomed and assisted travelers as they stopped their wagons along the river to rest from their journeys across the high desert.

In 1907, Tom Davis deeded 43 acres of land in memory of his wife to the City of Boise. Since then, the park has grown to 89 acres within the heart of the city. Home to Zoo Boise, Boise Art Museum, Idaho State Historical Museum, Discovery Center of Idaho and the Idaho Black History Museum, Julia Davis Park offers cultural and scientific enrichment. The park also includes a formal Rose Garden, two pavilions, duck pond, bocce courts, horseshoes and more.


Kathryn’s inner strength and caring were legendary—as were the Albertsons’ generous donations to The College of Idaho, Boise State University and other institutions. Dedicated in 1989, Kathryn Albertson Park was donated to Boise by Joe and Kathryn Albertson.

A haven for wildlife and quiet contemplation, the park features wide, paved footpaths and reservable outdoor gazebos in a beautiful natural setting.