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Wood River Land Trust Champions Warm Springs Preserve
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The 65 acres that would make up Warm Springs Preserve have long been a popular area for Wood River Valley residents to walk, exercise their dogs and relax.
   
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

The Wood River Land Trust has pledged to donate a half-million dollars to the City of Ketchum’s campaign to save the Warm Springs Preserve.

The Land Trust’s Executive Director Scott Boettger has long called the Warm Springs area, which includes the so-called Ketchum Dog Park, necessary to preserve to maintain the character of the Wood River Valley for generations to come.

“Our community needs areas close to town where people of all ages and abilities can experience nature and open space,” said Boettger. “These areas are most at risk for development and equally most important to save.”

For over 20 years, the Wood River Land Trust has considered Warm Springs Ranch one of the community’s treasured and happy places. The Land Trust has tried to educate the community about the importance of this open space in the Wood River Valley and is fully supportive of the City’s efforts to preserve the 65 acres as public open space for our community in perpetuity.

Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw said he and his committee members are thrilled by the donation: “This will help the campaign gain momentum to reach our goal. The Land Trust is the perfect partner to help save this land and restore the creek and riparian area.” 

Developer Bob Brennan, who is developing 14 acres of property where the tennis courts and restaurant used to be, offered the city the chance  to purchase the property for $9 million,  considered below-market value. The city must raise $4.5 million by Dec. 31, 2021, with the remainder by April 28, 2022.

To date, the campaign has raised $2.8 million. This includes a $1 million donation by a Warm Springs Preserve committee member, whose passion is to preserve this area for the community and its visitors. Spur Community Foundation is managing the donations for the campaign.

If the property able to raise the money, the Warm Springs Preserve will be kept as open space, allowing off-leash dog access, creek and habitat restoration, a new water-conscious irrigation system, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing, walking trails and other informal gatherings and activities. Public restrooms would be built on the site.

Currently the property is zoned for significant development.

To learn more, visit www.warmspringspreserve.org

 

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