DeMeyer, Kleiner, and Eagle Island - from farm to park


There are few things in Idaho culture that mean more to this community than locally owned farms. It doesn't matter if they are big or small, Idaho has them all. And all of them are a core part of our community. However, with the passage of time the owners of these farms pass on, and the farms either fall by the wayside or are redeveloped into neighborhoods. Now, new neighborhoods are not a bad thing - in fact, as a real estate group, we think they are quite a great thing - the loss of a beloved community icon like a farm, though, can be quite draining to a community.

However, there is a way to preserve the heritage of these great farms, perpetuating the great service they do for the rest of the valley and appease developers. How can this be so? Well, the answer lies in one of the most unlikely places - a park.

Yes, a park.

You see, local farms were great assets to the community because they provided food for friends and neighbors, but since they are no longer used for that purpose, remaking them to serve as a community gathering place I the next best thing. Parks to a lot for a community: they offer a safe place to go and have fun, a place to exercise, and a place to relax - not to mention they bring up the value of the neighborhood allowing homes to be sold for a higher price. But what do DeMeyer, Kleiner, and Eagle Island have to do with all this. Well, for starters, they were all once locally owned and operated farms.

Albert and Hazel DeMeyer - DeMeyer Park

Prior to the Playground - The History of DeMeyer Park

Back in the early 1900s, the place we all now know as DeMeyer Park, was at one point the farm and homestead of Albert and Hazel DeMeyer. It was a 12-acre parcel of land that was housed their ranch home, a few barns, and even a silo (one that still stands today). Among the other features that survived the farm's transformation into a park was the large duck pond that rests at its center. The park was donated to the City of Boise in the late 70s by the DeMeyers for the purpose of it becoming a park. The park has also been upgraded in the past thanks to contributions from Albert and Hazel's children.

What Does DeMeyer Look Like Today?

At present, DeMeyer Park is one of the community's most loved parks. Of the original 12 acre farm, 10 acres are now dedicated for park use. As we said earlier, the original silo and duck pond are still iconic parts of the park, however, these aren't the only things to enjoy there. DeMeyer Park is outfitted with basketball courts, leisure paths, beach volleyball net, a playground, and acres and acres of open grass. The park is open from sun up to sun down and is a great place to spend an afternoon during all season ... especially if you like feeding ducks. (Parks.CityofBoise.org)

Julius M. Kleiner - Kleiner Park

Before Bocce- The History of Kleiner Park

Kleiner Park was, back in the late 1940s, originally the farm of creamery enthusiast Julius M. Kleiner. Julius Kleiner immigrated to the United States from Russia in 1916. After arriving in Seattle, he spent the next few years working in various industries in different cities around the American Northwest. After many years, Kleiner finally ended up in Idaho, but it wasn't until the 40s that he bought the land in Meridian that is now known as Kleiner Park. After he bought the land, he converted it from a storage yard run by a local corporation into a successful dairy farm. Kleiner himself operated the farm until the 70s. Julius Kleiner died in 1972 and his land was cleared and sold to the City of Meridian to be used as a park.

(MeridianCity.ORG)

What Does Kleiner Park Look Like Today?

Today, Kleiner Park is one of the largest and most visited parks in the valley. It is a great place to enjoy some time outdoors. There is an amphitheater, bocce ball, a community garden, basketball courts (half-court only), a fishing pond, a playground, picnic areas, a pavilion, beach volleyball, and so much more. Not to mention the miles and miles of open grass that is available for any sort of recreation. At the center of Kleiner Park, there is also the Meridian Senior Center - and in another part of the park there is also a community garden. Kleiner Park really is a community gem. It allows a lot of people to enjoy the great Idaho weather in a safe and fun environment.

Eagle Island - Eagle Island State Park

Proceeding its Prestige - the History of Eagle Island State Park Eagle Island State Park is an amazing place with an amazing history. For many years Eagle Island, located in Eagle, Idaho, was used as farmland, however, it changed hands quite a bit. There were several first settlers to the area in the late 1800s that tilled the land and opened up irrigation ditches to water their crops. However, just prior to it being the state park it is today, Eagle Island was owned by the Idaho Department of Corrections as a prison farm until about the mid-70s, at which time it was given to the state. From there it was renovated, changed, and upgraded in many ways until it became the park we know today.

What Does Eagle Island State Park Look Like Now? Easily the largest out of the three parks we have listed today, the Eagle Island State Park has almost endless possibilities for fun and enjoyment by the local community. There are swimming pools, water slides, leisure paths, scenic views, horse riding paths, and much more. It is a great place for photography, a relaxing day out, or just to have a bit of fun.

Like we said earlier, farms are some of the most vital parts of our community, but if they can't be farms anymore, then let's hope they have the potential to become great community treasures in the form of parks. To learn more about parks in the Boise area, give us a call today and we would be happy to get you the information you need.

http://www.meridiancity.org/uploadedFiles/Departments/Parks_and_Rec/Parks/About%20Julius%20M%20Kleiner.pdf

http://parks.cityofboise.org/parks-locations/parks/demeyer-park/