Thursday, October 10, 2013

Protecting the places you love

By Bas Hargrove, senior policy representative, The Nature Conservancy in Idaho

Did you ever play with matches? I did. And it could have cost me a place I dearly love – Hulls Gulch. In 1976, the summer before second grade, two friends and I were playing with matches when we unintentionally set off a fire behind Camel’s Back. The fire grew so fast we couldn’t put it out.  Luckily, the Boise Fire Department could.

A young Bas Hargrove.
As we three terrified boys fled the scene on one banana seat bike, I heard the sirens from old Fire Station #2 speeding toward 8th Street. Our firefighters’ quick response kept the blaze to a small patch, thank goodness.

The experience cured a seven-year-old boy of curiosity about matches and taught me an important lesson. I realized I needed to protect the things I loved. Now, I am working to do that – and I urge you to do the same.   

On November 5th, Boise voters will have the chance to pass a bond that will increase fire safety and protect clean water and natural areas like the Foothills. We can make Boise an even safer and better place to live, work, and raise a family, all at a cost of about twelve bucks a year for the average homeowner.

Boise’s special places like the Foothills and the River are part of my life’s story. From floating the Boise River to field trips to Cottonwood Creek in Military Reserve, our city provided a place for childhood freedom and adventure.  And thanks to the thoughtful investment of community leaders past and present, my two kids still have those outdoor opportunities 37 years later.  (Though I’m careful to keep the matches out of reach.)

The Hargrove family near Cottonwood Creek in Military Reserve. Photos courtesy of Bas Hargrove.

Now it’s our turn to invest in our community. Please join me in voting Yes! Yes! for Boise this fall to ensure a prosperous and vibrant future.

Better yet: vote and volunteer. To find out how, go to the Yes! Yes! For Boise website.

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