BUUF sits on roughly four and half acres of land and is about fifteen minutes from downtown Boise. Our address is 6200 N. Garrett St, Garden City, Idaho. We moved to this location in 1998. While many still think of this as the “new” building we’re approaching twenty years at this location. The building was built in two phases–first the sanctuary and then two religious exploration wings, which were built five years later. Congregants generously donated architectural services and all of the steel for the building.
The building opens to a large backyard courtyard that includes a fountain and labyrinth made of small stones. Boise’s long summers and cool evenings have made the courtyard an integral part of many events and services.
The property was formerly a horse pasture and has been transformed to a beautiful and functional outdoor space that includes green grass, a beautiful creek and a small bridge, which is inspired by our sister church in Transylvania. A hardworking Landscape Committee, led by Mary Schwartzman, Barbara Alexander, Janelle Wintersteen, Patrick and Joleen Schow, and many others take excellent care of the grounds.
Two noteworthy features are the Transylvania Bridge and Jeremiah’s Adventure Garden. The Transylvania bridge honors our partner church in Romania and was built by Mary and Alan Schwartzman. Mary did the carving on the bridge. The Bridge Event Center is named after the bridge and was formed to manage rental of our facilities for events, returning revenue that helps with property upkeep. Jeremiah’s Adventure Garden, or JAG, is just across the bridge and includes play areas for children and a cascading fountain that has been the backdrop for numerous events. Patrick and Jolene Schow have chosen to make JAG their legacy to the Boise UU property.
Howard Johnson was a brilliant scientist who was a member of BUUF during the 1990s. He had a vision of creating A Walk Through Time on our beautiful grounds. The walk would begin with the Big Bang and continue with major earth events, ending with today. Howard envisioned local children and adults walking the path to learn about our beginnings. Howard’s dream was begun with the installation of an archway entrance and a Big Bang mosaic created by some of the youth. Then Howard passed away and his vision was not fulfilled. Many at BUUF would like to see The Walk Through Time completed in the near future.
In 2008, the congregation voted to buy a one-acre adjoining property, which we refer to as “The Chelan Property” because it faces that side street. That property has two rental houses and was envisioned to offer additional future growth options for the sanctuary and/or additional parking. A generous memorial bequest allowed paying off the mortgage for that property in 2012.
The site plan includes a larger sanctuary as a future phase three. Some discussion is currently underway about the timing and possibility of a larger sanctuary.
We recently added a paid staff position of a Building and Grounds Steward and were fortunate to fill this position with a long-time BUUF member, Greg Duffy. Greg follows the footsteps of several long-time volunteers and will help us learn how to maintain and care for our building and grounds in the future.
You can’t truly appreciate the beauty of our building and grounds without visiting in person, but we hope that pictures in the photo gallery and the "We Are BUUF" video on the packet welcome page will give you a sense of the beauty of this place we call home.