Thanks to a $1 million grant awarded to the City of Boise by the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation, a new, permanent installation is coming to Julia Davis Park.
The cancer survivor plaza, which includes art, a shelter, restroom and parking lot will be located in the east end of the park.
Boise Mayor David Bieter made the announcement at the Feb. 18 meeting of the “Julia Davis Park: Second Century Coalition,” a group of park supporters led by Diane Davis Myklegard, a descendant of park founders Tom and Julia Davis.
It was all cancer survivor Larry Fisher’s idea. Fisher suggested the city apply for the grant last summer.
“We appreciate Larry’s commitment to this project,” Bieter said. “Because of his vision and the support of the Bloch Foundation, one of our city’s most beloved parks can provide solace and hope to those battling cancer.”
When complete, the plaza will feature:
● Eight life-sized sculptures of figures passing through a maze of cancer treatments (see photo above).
● A Positive Mental Attitude Walk with 14 inspirational plaques
● A Road to Recovery with seven plaques with recommended strategies for recovery.
The Block Cancer Foundation is supplying the main art for the plaza. The grant award totals $1 million, with $900,000 for construction and a $100,000 endowment for maintenance.
The Bloch Cancer Foundation seeks to build a plaza in every state. Currently, the foundation has provided funding for projects in 23 U.S. and Canadian cities. Each park/plaza is designed to fit the unique character of the city and the park in which it is located.
Site design will be coordinated by Toby Norton, a Boise Parks & Recreation landscape architect, working in conjunction with City of Boise engineers and Landmark Design Inc. of Salt Lake City, Utah. Landmark was awarded the shelter design work as part of a competition held in conjunction with the Julia Davis Park Centennial Celebration in 2007. Design work will be funded by the Julia Davis Park: Second Century Coalition and contributions to the Boise Parks & Recreation Heritage Trust account.
The new amenities are consistent with a master plan developed several years ago for the park. Construction is expected to begin in late 2009 or early 2010.
More park improvements are planned as The Julia Davis Park: Second Century Coalition continues to work on raising funds:
● A Grand Plaza and History Walk
● A Pavilion (one of 5 pavilions planned)
● A River Node (one of 4 river nodes planned)
● The Quest for the Golden Apples, an interactive history tour
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