In Boulder City, we pride ourselves on the availability and quality of outdoor recreational opportunities. Bootleg Canyon Park is a popular stop for hikers and cyclists passing through on the River Mountain Loop Trail and a popular destination for many others. Maintaining and continuing to improve this outdoor recreational facility is important in upholding the City's image and character. After all, that is the very first goal in the City's Strategic Plan!
In 2001, after numerous public meetings, a master plan was developed for the River Mountains, Bootleg Canyon, and the gravel pit area of Boulder City. An element of the master plan was to create a desert demonstration region where people could come to learn about the native flora and fauna of the place we call home. The Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously adopted the plan on August 29, 2001. Since then, many elements of the master plan have been completed. New plantings were installed and native plants preserved. Both hiking and biking trails have been created through the natural desert terrain to provide an opportunity for human visitors to explore.
Part of the City's brand image is the outstanding quality of outdoor recreational opportunities we provide to the region. The City, with funding from the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA), aims to ensure that Boulder City remains a prime destination for family-friendly outdoor activities. On August 12, 2014, City Council approved the design concept to complete more of the master plan and expend the remaining SNPLMA grant funds.
The final phase of the improvements included creation of an interpretive educational area. Providing an educational opportunity in a natural outdoor setting builds on the Nature Discovery Park's original intent, initiated more than a decade ago. Representatives of the National Park Service and the Nevada Department of Wildlife worked with City staff to develop the plan for the interpretive area of Bootleg Canyon Park. The City advertised a call to contractors on November 19, 2014 to design, fabricate, and deliver the sculptures for this interpretive area. A panel comprised of Public Works, Parks and Recreation staff, the National Park Service, and the Nevada Department of Wildlife analyzed the proposals and determined that Universal Precast was the most qualified firm to complete the project.
Seven animal sculptures (desert tortoise, Gila monster, horned lizard, jackrabbit, roadrunner, scorpion, and Mojave rattle snake) now call Bootleg Canyon Park their permanent home. City staff worked closely with Universal Precast on the rendering of each animal to ensure the proportions of the casted animals closely match their living counterparts. The use of posturing and accentuating the animal's textures helped to create the animals as life-like as possible, while still being larger than life.
A paved trail was constructed circulating through the live plants and animal sculptures to provide access to all visitors. The Nature Discovery Trail is just the right distance, ease, and grade making it suitable for all visitors to enjoy. This trail begins at the roundabout and winds its way 1,765 feet up to the vista point overlooking Eldorado Valley. A picnic area with shade has been constructed at the apex of the trail. Interpretive signage has been installed at each animal and at several of the native plants to provide an opportunity for visitors to learn about the surrounding ecosystem. Bootleg Canyon Park differs drastically from any other park in the City. Rather than the traditional turf covered sports fields, this park, located at the base of Boulder City's majestic mountains, is a place for families and tourist to enjoy a more natural outdoor setting.