MOSCOW — The proposed 4.09-acre edible food forest park on the south end of Moscow would include an amphitheater, picnic seating areas, pathways and other amenities based on the conceptual plan the Moscow Tree and Parks and Recreation commissions approved Wednesday night during a joint meeting at the Hamilton Indoor Recreation Center.

The city council is tentatively scheduled to make a decision on the plan at its Sept. 2 meeting.

Even if the council approves the plan, development of Harvest Park — which would be located on a vacant Southview Avenue hillside between Indian Hills Drive and The Grove apartments — will be developed over years or even decades as funding allows, said Assistant Parks and Recreation Director David Schott.

Schott said the city anticipates heavy involvement from the community for donations of plant material and maintenance of the park. For example, a group may adopt an area and provide fundraising for the plant material, then plant and maintain the area. The areas would be recognized through a plaque or stone to describe the group’s contributions.

Schott said there will likely be grant opportunities to potentially fund park development.

Examples of vegetation planted at the park could include fruit and nut trees.

“I really believe that Moscow, Idaho, and our community will be excited about this project,” Schott said.

The conceptual park plan has three phases totaling $311,000. The first phase essentially concentrates on the west side of the park, the second phase on the east side and the third phase on the south-central side.

The first phase is expected to cost about $197,000 for initial development like the staging area, site utilities, pathways and the amphitheater/education area. The second phase would cost about $58,000 for pathway construction, and the third phase would cost roughly $56,000 for pathways.

Pending council approval of the plan, Schott said a water booster station would be constructed next year and the first phase of park development would be scheduled for 2021.

He said the park’s primary access point would be from Southview Avenue — or the bottom of the hill — but the goal is to provide access from Indian Hills Drive as well.

Parks and Recreation Director Dwight Curtis said this is a long-term project with several unknown details.

“What we plan tonight doesn’t necessarily mean that we can’t still make plans for tomorrow,” Curtis said.

Part of the park’s vision statement reads, “This unique space is intended to provide educational opportunities and an example to our community of stewardship of a public food forest. This unique space will create a sense of place and community pride for the city of Moscow for generations to come.”

In April 2018, the city council approved a parkland exchange and dedication agreement between Indian Hills Trading Company and the city. As a result of the swap, the city acquired the 4.09-acre hillside and IHTC took the original 1.74-acre parkland dedication associated with the Indian Hills 8th Addition Subdivision — which includes The Grove, the parkland dedication and another lot nearby — and the remaining unplatted IHTC property surrounding the area.

Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza@dnews.com.

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