Parks, Pathways & Cultural Resources Plan


The Canyon County Parks, Pathways & Cultural Resources Plan (adopted 2022) aims to help the County take strategic action to improve park assets and connectivity for users. The Plan will provide guiding priorities to help the County leverage resources and identify opportunities for investment that will result in improved services for Canyon County residents. The Plan establishes a vision and a set of associated goals that will provide the foundation to ensuring the long-term health and continued improvement of parks, open spaces, trails and cultural assets throughout all of unincorporated Canyon County. It also identifies near-term actions and investments.

The vision, values, goals, policies and actions in this Plan are based on ideas and input from the community as well as land management partners, local nonprofits, community-based organizations, recreational user groups, and cities within Canyon County.

To view or download the full plan, click on the link below:

Canyon County Parks, Pathways & Cultural Resources Plan

The Parks, Pathways & Cultural Resources Plan establishes a set of goals and policies to support development, maintenance and future investments into parks, pathways and cultural resources in Canyon County. The creation of the Plan was driven by 5 key factors that aligned to give momentum and urgency to the process.

  1. Canyon County is experiencing rapid population growth and higher rates of development across the incorporated cities and in unincorporated areas.
  2. Strong community support exists for more parks, pathways and cultural resources.
  3. No long-range, comprehensive plan for parks existed prior to the development of this plan.
  4. There is increasing interest in partnership and management of key assets and connectivity across land managers, agencies, jurisdictions and recreational user groups.
  5. The opportunity to align with the County’s 2022 Comprehensive Plan Update benefited both the Parks, Pathways & Cultural Resources Plan and the County Comprehensive Plan, in terms of outlining goals, policies and actions to support outdoor recreation and protect open spaces and pathways in Canyon County.

The Parks, Pathways & Cultural Resources Plan was developed through a participatory process that included the voices of Canyon County staff, officials, and the community; as well as input from partner agencies including cities, land management agencies and recreational user groups. The Plan was developed over 12 months, starting in December 2021 and culminating in December 2022.


Engagement with members of the public, specific recreational user groups, city representatives, land management groups and other key stakeholders highlighted the following key themes. These themes represent an aggregation of input and interests that helped guide strategic decision-making throughout this process.

  1. Parks, open spaces, trails, and cultural and natural resources are vital assets for Canyon County that improve quality of life and help define the character of an area.
  2. The Snake River, Boise River, the Lake Lowell Unit of Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, and Celebration Park are popular recreational destinations within Canyon County and offer significant opportunities for more development and investment in community parks and pathways.
  3. Preservation and sustainability should guide decision-making around parks, pathways and open spaces.
  4. Creating a parks and pathways system that supports a diversity of user groups is of utmost importance.
  5. Rapid regional growth and development are anticipated to continue, putting a strain on existing facilities and posing a risk to undeveloped land that in many cases would be ideal for open space and pathway utilization.
  6. Funding and staff capacity are challenged in the face of a growing population and expanded demand for assets and services.
  7. There was a high level of support for the County to explore additional funding mechanisms to support Parks, Pathways and Cultural Resources.

Vision Statement: Canyon County Parks, Cultural & Natural Resources are well-maintained and managed; provide County residents ample opportunity to engage in recreational activities; and offer a sustainable interface with natural habitats and wildlife. Canyon County seeks to be connected through a wide range of pathways that help people enjoy parks, cultural and natural resources, while also increasing access through multimodal means of transportation throughout the County.

Values: Access for Everyone * Sustainable Places & Practices * Build Community * Preserve and Share History, Culture & Nature * Encourage Health * Create Fun

Throughout this planning process, three geographic areas were identified as important natural and recreational assets to the community: the Snake River and Boise River corridors, and the Lake Lowell Unit of the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge. These areas are key opportunities for Canyon County (along with its partners) to advance the vision for parks, pathways and cultural resources. There are many different kinds of opportunities for investment in these areas, and implementation would require additional planning, partnership development, funding and acquisition, environmental review, and ongoing engagement with the community.

The Plan identified four high-level goals for parks, open space and recreation in Canyon County. Each goal is associated with a series of more specific objectives and policies, which can be viewed in the “Policies and Actions” section of the full Parks, Pathways & Cultural Resources Plan.

Goal 1: Parks, Cultural and Natural Resources

Canyon County maintains and operates a robust inventory of parks, cultural and natural resources that celebrates and protects the history and culture of the area while ensuring all County residents have access to safe, clean and diverse outdoor spaces.

Goal 2: Pathways and Connectivity

Canyon County is connected through a network of multi-use and single-use pathways that provide safe transportation corridors, recreational opportunities, and sustainable interfaces with the County’s wildlife and natural resources.

Goal 3: Special Uses and Recreational Opportunities

Canyon County provides ample recreational opportunities for a wide variety of users and interests.

Goal 4: Management and Policy

Canyon County promotes policies and implementation that create strong regional partnerships, sustainable natural spaces, and a thriving environment of outdoor-based recreational opportunities.


Many members of the public participated in the planning process. Thank you to everyone who responded to our survey or attended a workshop to share your ideas about the future of parks in Canyon County!

Staff of the Canyon County Parks, Cultural & Natural Resources Department were instrumental in completing this planning process, as was the Board of Canyon County Commissioners.

The Parks, Pathways & Cultural Resources Plan was prepared by Agnew::Beck Consulting.

The Canyon County Parks, Pathways & Cultural Resources Technical Advisory Group brought together County Departments, partner agencies, city leadership, land management agencies, and representation from a variety of recreational user groups. Membership on the Technical Advisory Committee consisted of the following groups and organizations:

  • Backcountry Horsemen of Idaho
  • Caldwell Chamber of Commerce
  • Canyon County Development Services Department
  • City of Caldwell
  • City of Greenleaf
  • City of Kuna
  • City of Melba
  • City of Middleton
  • City of Nampa
  • City of Parma
  • City of Wilder
  • Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS)
  • Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
  • Destination Caldwell
  • Horses for Clean Water
  • Idaho Department of Fish & Game
  • Idaho Horse Council
  • Idaho Military Division
  • Living Independence Network Corporation (LINC) Idaho
  • Nampa Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee
  • Return of the Boise Valley People
  • Southwest Idaho Trail & Distance Riders
  • Southwest Idaho Mountain Biking Association (SWIMBA)
  • Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Western Whitewater Assocation



1115 Albany St.
Caldwell, ID 83605