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City of Boise Livability Ambassadors 

Sustainability is deeply embedded in Boise's mission to be the most livable city in the country. To help further the city's mission, Boise launched the Livability Ambassadors Program where selected community members will be joining experts for a series of lessons, tours and discussions designed to expand their knowledge about Boise’s approach to environmental sustainability.

Highlights include guided tours and group excursions to sustainability features:

  • Twenty Mile South Farm
  • Dixie Drain
  • Foothills Learning Center
  • Ada County Landfill and Hazardous Waste Facility
  • Boise WaterShed and River Campus
  • Boise's Geothermal Energy and the Central Addition - Boise's First LIV District
Group of people standing in front of building

Front Row: Jennifer Ellis, Melissa Nodzu, Michelle Doane, Remington Buyer, Jami Goldman (City of Boise Sustainability Coordinator). Back Row: Steve Burgos (City of Boise Public Works Director), Grae Harper, Shelley Zimmer, Anne Wallace Allen, Nina Schaeffer, Max Stein, Lex Nelson, GiGi Huntley , Crystal Rain, Jesse Simpson, and Ben Nydegger (City of Boise Biosolids Program Manager) Not Pictured: Drew Buckmiller, Jacqeline Garreau, Cinthya Herrera, Mo Valko, Chad Worth

This behind the scenes experience with some of the City of Boise’s unique programs and facilities are intended to spark conversation and inspire action among ambassadors and their social networks and strengthen the community’s commitment to protecting and preserving our resources for future generations.

What Will Ambassadors Do?

During the program, which runs from May - October 2018, Livability Ambassadors will take what they have learned during each tour and give community presentations on their findings, providing information to their community on the impact these environmental sustainability measures have on the City of Boise.

After all tours have concluded, the ambassadors will have a closing ceremony at City Hall, where they will present their findings to city leadership.

How Can I Be An Ambassador?

This year's ambassadors have been selected. However, if you are interested in being a part of next year's ambassadors, the application period will open in Spring 2019.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Twenty Mile South Farm - May 19, 2018

The first excursion the Livability Ambassadors took was a tour of the city's Twenty Mile South Farm. The tour included expert background information from Ben Nydegger, tour of the net zero commercial building, visit to the biosolid holding silos, guided tour of the active growing fields, compost facility overview, and a facilitated deeper dive- big picture- cohort conversation.

What is the Twenty Mile South Farm?

The city owns and operates a 4225-acre farm that receives the solid waste that gets separated at the two main water renewal facilities (commonly known as wastewater treatment plants), Lander and West Boise. After processing, the solid waste -biosolids- act as a rich fertilizer and are used to grow animal feed crops that are then sold, with the resulting revenue helping to offset the costs for the entire water renewal utilities.


Group of people standing in a field

Ambassadors exploring the farm

Group of people in a discussion

Ben Nydegger giving a tour

Building in a field

Building on Twenty Mile South Farm

A new facility was recently opened on the farm, consisting of an office building, maintenance shop, parts warehouse and mechanic shop, and was designed to be energy neutral; in other words, it offsets the energy consumed on-site with energy produced using solar panels and a geothermal ground loop energy system used for heating and cooling help make the building more efficient. The farm building is Idaho’s first commercial net-zero building and is a model and educational tool demonstrating how to design more energy efficient buildings.

Not only does it serve as a place that processes bio solids, but Twenty Mile South Farm also houses our compost facility which has received ~50 million pounds of organics, diverted from the landfill, that have been turned into high quality compost and given back to the community.