52 Greenbelt Walks: A Birthday Adventure by the River

April 27 In honor of my baby daughter’s first birthday, our greenbelt experience this week was a trip to the Boise Zoo at Julia Davis Park.

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Julia Davis Park is part of the Ribbon of Jewels, public parks all named for influential Boise women, that are interconnected with the Boise River Greenbelt. The creation of the greenbelt master plan way back in the day, had a vision for connecting a string of parks, for the enjoyment and recreation of the community. Julia Davis was the first park in Boise, even predating the greenbelt. It now encompasses multiple museums, gardens, and recreational facilities, and is among the most loved and used amenities in Boise.
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Our specific goal at the zoo was to snap a photo of baby Jenas with the giraffes. I hope to do this every year on her birthday; I have this vision for a ‘see how she grows over the years’ montage, that includes, of all things, giraffes. The giraffes at the Boise Zoo have always been one of our special joys, as they are for many in our city. So, why not. They make us happy, and so does our baby. 

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Outside the zoo, along the greenbelt, just between the zoo and Friendship Bridge at Julia Davis, you can often see the giraffes’ heads and long patterned necks tall above the zoo fence. These guys are a bit of an icon in Boise because of this.

Sadly, about a week before our baby’s birthday, one of the two giraffes died. It was pretty sad for our family and many in our city. Still we went to visit the remaining giraffe, Jabari, as we had planned to do for Jena’s birthday.

It was feeding time, and walking up to the giraffe was very cool. It was so much taller than I thought, and it’s head was enormous up close.

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Jenas and I held out a lettuce leaf and the giraffe black tongue swiped it away, lickety- split. Amazing.

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Their long necks, height, beautiful patterns on their fur, and my personal favorite, those cute little nubbin horns, make giraffes among the most fantastic of creatures.

The zoo is already underway to locate and raise money to bring one, or even two, more giraffes to keep Jabari company. They are herd animals and do better with a companion. We will hope, and do our small part to help that effort to happen quickly.

After visiting the zoo, we walked to see the river. A trip to the greenbelt always requires a view and appreciation of the river flowing by.

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As we walked the short ways to stand on the Friendship Bridge, we passed this sweet little clutch of fuzzy-wuzzies. Spring is in the air.

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Happy birthday sweet baby Jenas. Happy spring to babies everywhere. It’s a great time to be out in the world.

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