Last night, Boise voters approved a $10 million levy that sets aside funds for clean water and open space-with a resounding 74% of the vote. The wide margin of support illustrates that Boise voters are willing to step up to protect the values that make Boise special, including the Boise River, foothills, open space, clean water and wildlife habitat.

This clean water and open space levy builds on a successful campaign in 2001 to secure a similar $10 million for open space protection in the foothills. Over the last 14 years, those funds secured protection for 10,750 acres with a value of over $37 million. Places like Stack Rock, Military Reserve and Hammer Flats are protected now because Boise voters stepped up to the plate.

New funds resulting from this latest levy are not limited to land acquisitions in the foothills though. This time, the Boise River is included, along with the potential to fund recreation enhancements and protect clean water, native plants and wildlife habitat.

Accountability was also central to the clean water and open space levy. An annual audit is required, and a citizens’ advisory committee will be established. No funds will be spent on administrative costs, meaning that every dollar will be spent on the ground.

Lots of hard work went into the campaign, and much credit goes to our partners at Conservation Voters for Idaho, the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley, The Trust for Public Land, The Nature Conservancy, the Boise City Council and the hundreds of volunteers who helped make this win possible.

With the election behind us, you can be sure that ICL is working hard to identify projects, engage in the advisory committee and ensure that each dollar is spent to protect the places we love.