The City of Ketchum has an opportunity to save 65 acres of land at Warm Springs Ranch, preserving it as open space in perpetuity for the community. This will happen with your support! To save this stunning riverfront area as a green space and preserve for community health and enjoyment, please donate.
Property Acquisition: $9 million Irrigation & Restoration Improvements: $1 million #1 Deadline ($4.5M): Oct 28, 2021New: Dec 31, 2021 #2 Deadline ($9M): April 28, 2022
Why is the City of Ketchum pursuing this project? Who will manage the property?
The city is well-equipped to manage the Warm Springs Preserve. With a history of maintaining public parks, the city has partnered with Blaine County School District at Atkinson Park, manages the pump park, and previously accepted a donation of Farnlun Park (to remain a park in perpetuity).
While open to partner organizations, the top priority is to ensure that the acquisition occurs so the property can be preserved as open space for public use in perpetuity for public use.
Has the city identified any specific issues?
Warm Springs Preserve Committee members include: Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw, Connie Hoffman, Nick Miller, Kathy Wygel, Michael Mars, Susan Flynt, Sally Onetto, Kimberly and David Barenborg, and Bob Burkheimer. Spur Foundation is custodian of the funds and accepting and holding donations with the Warm Springs Preserve Fund at the Spur Foundation.
We are grateful to have the endorsement and support of the Wood River Land Trust. The Wood River Land Trust hopes that its commitment of $500,000 toward the Warm Springs Preserve will encourage other community members to give generously to complete this campaign.
Can the city build affordable housing on the property?
No – affordable housing was not presented by the seller as an option for this property. Per the deed restrictions, Ketchum’s purchase would ensure the space would remain an undeveloped preserve – the last available open space of its kind in Ketchum city limits. The City is committed to finding solutions to the crisis and is actively pursuing all available options.
How can I make a donation?
Checks may be made payable to “Spur Community Foundation” with a note in the memo field that says “Warm Springs Preserve Fund” and mailed to PO Box 6184, Ketchum, ID 83340.
If you are interested in donating by ACH/Wire transfer or donating securities/stocks – please contact Spur at (208) 450-2607.
A trail from the Warm Springs Preserve connecting to other areas is a priority but requires work with Forest Service and other entities. The cost and timeline are unknown, but we are actively pursuing the connector trail as part of the Warm Springs Preserve vision.
Where will dog access be?
Continued access for dogs (both on and off-leash) is a priority and will be part of the Warm Springs Preserve uses.
Will the land be part of a conservation easement? How will we know that this will be protected in perpetuity?
The Option Agreement specifically outlines that the property will exist as a passive preserve for public open space. Deed Restrictions and easement documents are drafted for the property and will be put into place in the acquisition process.
Has the city identified any specific issues?
If we don’t raise the funds, the property will remain private, the owner can pursue further development, and could choose to restrict public access.
Is the Wood River Land Trust supporting this project?
The Wood River Land Trust has long considered the 65 acres of open space on the Warm Springs Ranch a community priority for conservation and preservation. The Land Trust has led the education effort to alert the community to the importance of this open space to the Wood River Valley. The Land Trust is fully supportive of the City’s efforts to preserve the 65 acres as public open space in perpetuity for our community. The Land Trust hopes that its commitment of $500,000 toward the Preserve will encourage other community members to give generously to complete this campaign.
What can happen on the property if the Warm Springs Preserve does not get funded?
The property is zoned to allow significant development. However, a subdivision application and approval from the city would still be required. Current zoning includes the following:
Blocks 3 & 8 – each allow one single-family home with an accessory dwelling unit
Blocks 4, 5, & 6 – allows unlimited density within permitted zoning and development standards
Block 2 & 7 – open space that allows access roads and infrastructure to support the development
Fire code allows up to 200 units with one fire access road
If the community acquires the property, the following will be allowed:
Passive Park for Open Space in Perpetuity
Off-leash dog access
Informal Activities (i.e., disc golf, dog walking)
Informal Gatherings (i.e., picnics)
Restoration of Warm Springs Creek and its Riparian Zone and Floodplain
New Irrigation System to Preserve Water/Reduce Maintenance Costs
If the community acquires the property, the following will NOT be allowed:
Reserved Private or Commercial Events
What is the situation with water rights?
The Option Agreement includes the water rights on the property. Water right 37-212A is extremely valuable because of the amount of water that is allotted, the priority date (June 1888) and it’s a surface water right (comes directly from the creek). This water right allows for the irrigation of the entire grassy area to be pulled from sources other than municipal water. The older the water right, the more valuable it is because it has senior rights.
What will happen on the preserve over time?
If the city acquires the property, the city will engage the community in a Master Plan process. Projects under consideration include the following:
Connector trail through the 30 acres in the southern part of the property
Improved access for the entire community
Existing trail upgrades
Stream restoration to:
repair floodgate in Warm Springs Creek
mitigate flooding at the site, upstream and downstream
improve fish and wildlife habitat
benefit the Bigwood River fishery
What is the timeline for the Option Agreement?
The Option Agreement is an exclusive option to purchase 65 acres for $9M.
The Option Agreement requires $4.5M to be raised OR committed by December 28, 2021, and the entire acquisition funds to be raised by April 28, 2022.
What are the cost estimates to complete the proposed project?
We are compiling estimates for annual operating costs based on the existing property, projections for annual operating expenses based on improvements, and itemized estimates for the improvement projects under consideration.
What funds are available? From what sources?
The top priorities are to acquire the land ($9M) and ensure that the wasteful and expensive irrigation system is replaced (estimated $1M). Beyond these needs, there will be opportunities to support Warm Springs Preserve improvement projects.
The City is prepared to cover the existing annual operating costs and is conducting a thorough assessment of ongoing operational costs with any improvements to the property.
Are there Naming Opportunities?
We invite you to consider naming options that feel most meaningful to you. Names of your friend, friends, and/or pets you would like to honor or remember are welcome.
Warm Springs Preserve $5 Million | 1 Available Name the entire preserve, an iconic 65-acre piece of property in the heart of Ketchum — for the community to enjoy forever.
Connector Trail $1 Million | 1 Available Along the border of the Preserve, Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management property, this Connector Trail will go through trees along with the natural topography of the Preserve.
Main Walking Trail $1 Million | 1 Available (reserved) The main walking trail is on the upper bench of the preserve.
New Lower Trail Along the Creek $1 Million | 1 Available The walking trail below the bench along the creek will be beautiful and a new feature of the preserve.
The Fairway $500,000 | 1 Available Name one of the most popular pieces of the preserve — where the community and their dogs enjoy green grass and play space.
Bridge – The Gateway to Warm Springs Preserve $500,000 | 1 Available Access bridge crossing the creek to the parking lot.
Nordic Trail $350,000 | 1 Available (reserved) Groomed loop throughout the Preserve during the winter months. This trail will be separate from the walking trails.
Aspen Grove $250,000 | 2 Available (1 reserved) With an upper grove and a lower grove, the Aspen Groves provide shade in the hot summer months and beautiful vegetation for all visitors to the preserve.
Maintenance Building $200,000 | 1 Available Critical to maintaining the property, this facility will be located near the parking lot in a prominent location.
Preserve Welcome and History Signage $150,000 | 1 Available (reserved) At the parking area of the Preserve, we will have a sign, like those at many trailheads. This sign will include information about the history of the area along with natural history details on the wildlife, habitat, and riparian corridor aspects of the Preserve.
Benches/Picnic Tables $100,000 | 10 Available (1 reserved) 4 creek-viewing areas can accommodate benches or tables 6 areas on the plateaus around the property are available for benches or tables.
Disc Golf Course $75,000 | 1 Available Popular 9-hole disc golf course woven throughout the property.
Leash Hooks $50,000 | 1 Available Warm Springs Preserve is committed to off-leash access for dogs. We understand that it’s sometimes nice to leave your leash and pick it up on your way out.
Gifts of $1,000 or more will have guaranteed recognition on our “donor wall.” There are opportunities to honor or remember your favorite four-legged friends as well.
By check: Payable to Spur Community Fund Please add Warm Springs Preserve in the memo Mail checks to Spur | PO Box 6184 | Ketchum, ID 83340
By ACH/Wire or Securities: Contact Spur Community Foundation 208.450.2600
*If we do not succeed in creating Warm Springs Preserve, you may redirect your funds to any qualified charity of your choosing (through Spur) or request a refund. Please note that if you opt for a refund, the donation will not be tax-deductible.