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Volunteers invite community to harvest festival to help save historical park

NBC Historical Park gears up for The Old-Fashioned Harvest Festival | Courtesy NBC Historical Park
SHELLEY — Volunteers are raising money this weekend for a new water system at a local historical park where the water was shut off earlier this year.
The fundraiser will help NBC Historical Park in Shelley to fund a new water system. The event is called “The Old-Fashioned Harvest Festival” and will be held Saturday, Oct. 22, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased at the gate.
“There’s going to be hay rides, live music and then we will have fresh apple cider, and there will be scones available,” said Lindsey Palmer, volunteer and media liaison for NBC Historical Park. “It’s going to be a fun event!”
There will be a pumpkin carving competition, potato slingshot, zucchini boat races and crafts too.
NBC Historical Park volunteers are hoping to raise $20,000 for the water project.

Courtesy NBC Historical Park

What happened at NBC Historical Park?

North Bingham County Park in Shelley is a recreational area and has an RV park on the north end. The south end includes NBC Historical Park, which has a historic schoolhouse, barn, rodeo arena and more.
Bingham County owns the entire park and has partnered with the Idaho Education Alliance for Solutions (IDEAS), a nonprofit that helps take care of the historic side of the park.
According to the nonprofit’s president, Bingham County has provided water to the historical side for over 20 years, but one day this year, the south side of the park’s water just didn’t turn on. The water had to be turned off due to legal reasons.
RELATED | Water shut off at historical park causes volunteers to try and save trees, gardens
“We haven’t turned (the water) on this year (to the south side). We were advised by our civil (deputy prosecutor) that we couldn’t provide water to the south side of the park because we didn’t have water rights, and we certainly didn’t want to jeopardize the county’s water rights. It’s just really unfortunate,” said Bingham County Parks and Recreation Director Scott Reese in an interview with back in July.

NBC Historical Park in July. | Andrea Olson,

The community came together

After the shutoff, the community came together week after week to water the trees and gardens by hand before an emergency water right could be purchased. It was called the “bucket brigade.” The city of Shelley even brought its water truck to help make it easier.
“Families hauled buckets of water by hand. That was an incredible thing to see the community come together in that way to help preserve this park,” recalls Palmer.

The bucket brigade with a city of Shelley water truck. | Courtesy Todd Sullivan
Emergency water rights allowed a temporary solution to irrigate the park via hand water lines and above-ground irrigation pipes.
However, there was still some vegetation that could not be saved.
“If you go there now, we do have three dead willow trees. Willow trees require quite a bit of water. The grass is looking better, but unfortunately, it is patchy in some areas right now where it hadn’t been before,” Palmer said.

Volunteers need your help

Volunteers are doing all they can to help the park for next year when it gets hot and needs to be watered again. The fundraiser will help the park fund a new water system that will access alternative water sources from the city of Shelley.
“The park is more than just a park bench and some trees. It acknowledges our history of where Shelley started as a community and also provides this unifying element that I haven’t seen in any other community that I’ve lived in,” said Palmer.
She hopes to see a lot of people come out on Saturday.
“I hope the community comes together again to preserve this little gem in Shelley that offers so much to our community members. We look forward to the day when this struggle (of water) will be a thing of the past, and we will be able to continue forward and provide opportunities for families and community members alike,” she said.

The post Volunteers invite community to harvest festival to help save historical park appeared first on East Idaho News.

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