Boo at the Zoo Brings in Record Numbers

Idaho Falls, ID: Boo at the Zoo, Idaho Falls’ largest merry not scary Halloween event, was even larger this year, bringing in a total of 9,856 guests.

This number beats out the 2011 record attendance of 8,566, and far exceeds last year’s attendance of 4,846.

“The numbers have continued to rise each year due to the popularity of the event. The slump last year was due to poor weather.  Mother Nature was very nice to us this year, and we are very grateful for that,” states Linda Beard, interim zoo superintendent.

Hosted by the Tautphaus Park Zoological Society, Boo at the Zoo showcased over 500,000 lights, dozens of inflatable decorations, nightly costume contests at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., crafts, games and trick-or-treat stations.

“Thanks to the dedication of our staff and volunteers, and the support of the vendors and community, this event continues to grow each year. We are very pleased with this year’s attendance and all the work that was done behind the scenes to make the event such a success,” states Greg A. Weitzel, parks and recreation director.

Guests are welcome to stroll through the zoo grounds and see the lights and decorations tonight from 6-7:30 p.m. Admission will be $3 for adults, $1.50 for children and $2.25 for seniors over 62.  Children 3 and under are free. There will not be costume contests, trick-or-treat stations, crafts or games on Halloween night.

Although the zoo will be closed for the season, the doors will open again for six days in December (Dec. 20, 21, 22, 23, 26 & 27) for Christmas with the Critters. Guests can visit the zoo animals and watch them in their winter habitat, as well as see them receive special Christmas treats. Santa will also make special daily appearances. For additional information, see www.idahofallszoo.org.

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About Idaho Falls: Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications. Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

Leaf Collection Schedule 2014

Idaho Falls, ID: The city of Idaho Falls leaf collection schedule will run now through Nov. 20. A link to the schedule has been posted on the home page of the city’s website at www.idahofallsidaho.gov and will repeat, weather and time permitting, as the leaves accumulate and conditions warrant.

Leaves should be piled on the street next to the curb, and cars should be parked off the street. Tree limbs and branches should not be piled with the leaves.

In accordance with city ordinance, property owners must keep their trees trimmed 15’ above the street surface to allow the street sweepers room to travel under the trees without damage to the equipment or to the trees.

Anyone living outside the stated boundaries may contact the street department at (208) 612-8490 to request leaf collection in their area. The schedule may vary slightly due to workload.

For additional information about leaf collection or the schedule, contact the street department.

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About Idaho Falls: Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications. Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

Boo at the Zoo 2014

Idaho Falls, ID: Boo at the Zoo, Idaho Falls’ largest merry not scary Halloween event and the largest fundraiser for the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park will run Oct. 28-30.

Hosted by the Tautphaus Park Zoological Society, Boo at the Zoo showcases over 500,000 lights, dozens of inflatable decorations, nightly costume contests at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., crafts, games and trick-or-treat stations.  The zoo’s costume character mascots, Percy the Penguin and Gerry the Giraffe, will also make nightly appearances.

Dates: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, Oct. 28-30
Time:  Gates open at 5 p.m. with the last admission at 8:30 p.m.
Costume Contests:  Nightly at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Tickets are $5.00 for ages 4 and up.  Children 3 and under are free.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at local Albertsons stores and the zoo’s administrative office. Zoo memberships are not valid for admission to this fundraising event.

Boo at the Zoo will not run on Halloween night so that trick-or-treaters and event vendors can be home with their families on Halloween night. Guests are welcome to stroll through the zoo grounds and see the lights and decorations on Halloween night from 6-7:30 p.m. Admission that night will be $3 for adults, $1.50 for children and $2.25 for seniors over 62.  Children 3 and under are free. There will not be costume contests, trick-or-treat stations, crafts or games on Halloween night.

Volunteers are needed to help with set up Oct. 13-17 and Oct. 20-24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as during the event on Oct. 28-30 from 4:30-9 p.m. Call (208) 612-8470 to volunteer or for additional information.

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About Idaho Falls: Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications. Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

Hemmert Avenue Railroad Crossing Closed for Construction

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho: Union Pacific Railroad and the street department will begin working on the Hemmert Avenue railroad crossing Monday, Oct. 13.

Only the railroad crossing will be closed to thru traffic. Motorists will still be able to turn on Hemmert Avenue from S. Holmes to access businesses. They will also be able to access businesses off of N. Yellowstone Hwy. The crossing will reopen the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 15.

The railroad will be removing the road ties and installing new ones, and the street department will be removing and installing new pavement.

See home page of the city’s website for a link to information regarding all construction projects and maps. For additional information on this project, contact the city of Idaho Falls public works division at (208) 612-8250.

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About Idaho Falls: Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications. Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

AZA Grants Accreditation to Idaho Falls Zoo

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho: The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Executive Director, Kris Vehrs announced at city council last night that the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“Only zoos and aquariums that meet the highest standards are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “The community should take great pride in knowing that Idaho Falls Zoo is a proven leader in the care and conservation of wildlife, in deepening families’ connection to nature and building the next generation of conservationists.”

To be accredited, the zoo underwent a thorough review to ensure it has and will continue to meet rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association.

The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution’s operation, including animal care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and other areas. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied.  Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.

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About Idaho Falls: Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications. Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

About AZA: Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and six other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.

Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation Receives State Recognition for River Gardens

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho: Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation was awarded the Outstanding Facility and Parks Award for the River Gardens at Taylor’s Crossing by the Idaho Recreation and Park Association (IRPA) during their annual conference.

The river gardens project is a two phase project, started in 2011, that includes expanding and beautifying the Greenbelt by converting a limited access, undeveloped area into a beautiful riverbank, complete with ADA access and fishing rocks.

Nate Durtschi of Rock Solid Landscape designed the landscape concept for the Rock Gardens. Phase I of the project was completed in the fall of 2013 and included the removal of brush, debris and fencing from 550 linear feet of the riverbank. This was then followed by the installation of boulders for bank stabilization, electrical outlets, lighting, irrigation and sod. The Idaho Falls Shade Tree Committee planted more than 20 trees and hundreds of perennials at the gardens.

In June 2014, the city announced that the Rotary Club of Idaho Falls would be donating this year’s Great Snake River Duck Race proceeds to Phase II of the project to be designed, once again, by Durtschi. An additional 850 linear feet of riverbank stabilization, landscape improvements, natural beach, rock arch and a dinosaur discovery area for children will complete Phase II.

The project has been funded completely by reimbursements to the Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Division from the Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency urban renewal investment fund and other donations. The Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency committed $390,000, and the Rotary Club of Idaho Falls donated an additional $60,000. Lava rock was donated by Idaho Falls Power.

Parks & Recreation Director, Greg A. Weitzel states, “The impact that this project had on transforming land that once was full of trash into a beautiful, accessible and usable riverside green space, is truly what makes this project outstanding. We are thankful for all the partners that came together to fulfill the mission of enhancing the greenbelt through this unique type of land development.”

Award criteria was based on cost effective maintenance and operation design, visibility and appearance, uniqueness, innovated design, most effective use and benefits to, and/or protection of, natural resources.

Photo: Greg A. Weitzel, Director, Idaho Falls Parks & Rec with Rollie Walker, CEO, McNeil Development (Taylor’s Crossing)

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About Idaho Falls: Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications. Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

About IRPA:The Idaho Recreation and Park Association is a non-profit, professional organization founded in 1959 as the Idaho Recreation Society. IRPA has over 200 members from municipal, county, state, and federal park and recreation agencies, private corporations, hospitals and institutions, colleges, commercial enterprises, commissions, and advisory boards. IRPA is dedicated to the promotion, development, and improvement of each member through education, certification, networking and professional services such as media representation and publications. Retrieved from http://www.irpa-idaho.org/about.php.

Public Meeting – Sanitation Auto-Load Program

Idaho Falls, ID: The city of Idaho Falls public works division would like to invite citizens to a public meeting on Oct. 16 from 4-7 p.m. regarding the Citywide Sanitation Auto-load Program. The meeting will be held in the city council chambers in the city annex building located at 680 Park Avenue.

The city initiated a study to evaluate the opportunities for the sanitation department to transition to an auto-load program from the current curbside pick-up service. A draft report has been reviewed and submitted to city council.

The program is recommended to be implemented with a phased approach as funds become available to purchase the necessary equipment.

Benefits identified in the report include:

  • Lower overall operating expenses
  • Reduction in staff-related injuries, reducing workman’s compensation claims
  • Ease of handling wheeled garbage containers
  • Reduction in litter on the streets prior to pick-up
  • Higher staff efficiency rates— number of staff versus homes served

Disadvantages identified include:

  • Higher initial equipment costs
  • Specific placement of containers

The city is looking for public comment on this program. Examples of auto-load containers will be available to view at the meeting, as well as maps of proposed trial subdivisions that will be affected.

The link to the auto-load study can be found on the home page of the city’s website at www.idahofallsidaho.gov. For additional information call (208) 612-8250.

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About Idaho Falls: Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications. Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

Idaho Falls Firefighters Conduct Annual Fill the Boot Campaign

Idaho Falls, ID: The Idaho Falls Fire Department will once again participate in the annual Fill the Boot campaign this Friday and Saturday at the corner of Woodruff & 17th Street from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The event raises money for muscular dystrophy research. Approximately ninety-one percent of the money goes to local children in need of medical devices such as wheelchairs and crutches, along with other basic medical needs.

Motorists need to be aware of fire officials standing in the road, use caution and slow down.

“This is an important fundraiser that affects many local children, and we would appreciate donations in any amount. If you choose not to donate, please be courteous to those that do and to the firefighters volunteering,” states Dave Coffey, division chief, Idaho Falls Fire Department.

The International Association of Fire Fighters has participated in the Fill the Boot campaign for 60 years and is the single largest non-corporate donor. 

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About Idaho Falls Fire Department: The mission of the Idaho Falls Fire Department is to protect the lives and property of the citizens and visitors of Idaho Falls by providing the highest possible levels of service through fire prevention, public education, fire suppression, emergency medical services and mitigation of the effects of natural and man-made disasters consistent with the resources provided as desired and dictated by the citizens and elected officials of the City of Idaho Falls. The Idaho Falls Fire Department Fire Services division serves population of approximately 85,000 residents occupying approximately 250 square miles. The area includes the City of Idaho Falls and the Bonneville County Fire Protection District. The Idaho Falls Fire Department Emergency Medical Services (EMS) division serves a population of approximately 118,000 residents occupying approximately 1900 square miles. The area includes Bonneville County and portions of Bingham and Jefferson counties.

International Walk to School Day

Idaho Falls, ID: Approximately 10,000 students from 26 elementary schools, along with parents, teachers and community leaders, will join schools from around the world as they walk to school in celebration of International Walk to School Day on Oct. 8.

Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment.

“This event helps build connections between families, schools and the community. We would like to encourage parents and neighbors to join the students in the walk,” states DaNiel Jose, transportation planner/bicycle-pedestrian coordinator with Bonneville Metropolitan Planning Organization (BMPO).

The event is being organized by Safe Routes to School, BMPO, School District 91 and School District 93. Vehicular traffic should be on the lookout for students, use caution and slow down.

For additional information about the event contact DaNiel Jose (208) 612-8509 or visit the websites listed below.

Walk to School Day in the USA, www.walkbiketoschool.org; Ntl Center for Safe Routes to School, www.saferoutesinfo.org; International Walk to School Day, www.iwalktoschool.org; BMPO, www.idahofallsidaho.gov/city/city-departments/bmpo.html

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 About Idaho Falls: Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications. Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

About International Walk to School Day:

  • Walk to School Day was established in the United States in 1997 by the Partnership for a Walkable America. Canada and Great Britain already had walk to school programs in place3. In 2000, these three countries joined together to create International Walk to School Day.
  • In May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School was established to assist communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bike to school.
  • The National Center for Safe Routes to School serves as the national coordinating agency for Walk to School activities in the United States.
  • Walk to School Day began as a simple idea – children and parents, school and local officials walking to school together on a designated day. It is an energizing event, reminding everyone of the simple joy of walking to school, the health benefits of regular daily activity, and the need for safe places to walk and bike. Schools focus on health, safety, physical activity and concern for the environment.
  • Organizations supporting International Walk to School Day in the United States include America Walks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Highway Administration, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Safe Kids Worldwide, and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.