I’ve written before about pocket parks — those small, quiet enclaves of green trees and grass and shade carved out from cityscapes that can brighten the lives of the people in the surrounding neighborhood — so I’ve got to call out Boise, Idaho for a pretty cool example of the pocket park concept.
The C.W. Moore park is just a few blocks from the core downtown area of Boise. It’s a beautiful little park, and it’s got some features you don’t see in most parks. For one thing, it’s got a functioning water wheel in one corner — and what person taking a break from the hurly-burly of life wouldn’t enjoy watching a slowly moving, mesmerizing water wheel and hearing the sound of the rushing water? The water wheel is an important touchstone for the city’s history, too, because Boise is located in an arid region and water wheels and water systems helped to make Boise green and habitable.
The park also includes other links to Boise history. Around the park you will see the name stones and date stones of former Boise schools and buildings — you can see part of the Central School name stone in the photo above — as well as a former building entrance arch, a carriage stone, a locally quarried limestone block, columns and streetlights from Boise’s past, and a building turret. It’s all a pretty cool way of linking the park to Boise’s past in a tangible and interesting way. Kudos to the Boise Park Department for taking the pocket park concept to the next level.