The historic photos that we have of Coeur d'Alene Park recall idyllic days of strolls in Sunday best, brass bands playing in the band stand, and beds bursting with flowers.
But it wasn't always that perfect.
The City's first park was founded in 1891 - and almost closed five years later due to vandalism and limited park funds.
But then, as now, the surrounding neighborhood stepped in to save the park. Neighbors cleaned the small lake, built the bandstand and brought in large flowerpots that had previously decorated the World's Expo in Chicago. A few years later the 150,000 Club (a club dedicated to civic pride) created a fishpond, built a rustic gazebo, turned the simple bandstand into the onion-shaped structure we still have today, and added tennis courts and horse shoe pits.
Since that time, the Park has witnessed a change in use (no more fish pond, and the promenade returned to nature) and, once again, a decline in ongoing investment and upkeep.
But the Friends of Coeur d'Alene Park are striding in to fill the gap. With a City-approved master plan in hand, they are celebrating the Park's 125th birthday and working toward a brighter future.
They are kicking off a summer-long celebration on May 21 with Art for the Park, where four teams - each led by a professional artist - will paint large-scale art around the Park. Visitors and participants will also enjoy a variety of other activities in the park on that day including food, music from local bands and booths featuring local arts and crafts.
For more information, visit www.friendsofcdapark.org.
Coeur D'Alene Park Birthday Events
Art for the Park: May 21
Concerts in the Park: every Thursday July 7 - August 25
ParkFest: September 10
Raffle Drawing: September 17