In the community

Vale’s Lewin Park slated for major renovation as part of effort to honor longtime resident

VALE – Colter Kamo wanted to create a project to memorialize his father and help the community.

So, when his father’s cousin, Jerry Suyematsu, approached him about an idea for Lewin Park at the northwest part of Vale, the Boise resident immediately saw an opportunity.

He developed plans to renovate the park by building a metal gazebo, a porcelain paver walkway, benches, evergreen plantings, cherry blossom trees and other landscaping.

“We wanted to give back and do something for the community. When people drive through Vale we feel like it would be nice to have an area like that,” said Colter Kamo.

Kamo said his family will fund the $100,000 project.

The renovation will be anchored on the 20 x 24-foot gazebo and Kamo said he expects crews from Mark Guho Construction Company of Boise, to break ground on the project this spring.

Todd Fuller, Vale city manager, said last week all the design plans and permits have been approved for the project.

Gary Kamo died in 2020 but he was a fixture in the Vale community where he grew up.

He attended Vale High School and played football, ran track and wrestled. He was a member of the Vale High School 1964 state championship football team. He attended Treasure Valley Community College and then moved onto Oregon State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business.

Gary Kamo, had a keen interest in prep sports and in his community. For his son, the park renovation is a good way to remember his father and his accomplishments.

“My dad had a lot of friends and I wanted to do something nice so people remember him and create a nice area to gather,” said Colter Kamo.

The fountain at the park will remain and the new walkway will circle the lower part of the park. The tree at the park, though, will be cut down because it is nearly dead, said Colter Kamo.

Kamo plans a still-to-be-determined second phase of the renovation on the northwest end of the park. To get the second phase off the ground, Kamo is seeking donations from the public. Kamo said he isn’t sure yet what that phase will look like.

“Maybe we can come in and add some memorial boards or fix the front area with a welcome to Vale sign,” he said.

Each individual who donates $100 will get their name inscribed on one of the paving bricks in the walkway. The Vale Community Coalition is collecting the donations and interested individuals can go to the organization’s Facebook page to contribute.

Kamo, who is a co-owner of Grace Assisted Living Boise, said he divided his time between Boise and Vale after his mother and father divorced when he was young. He said he believes the renovation project “will be quality.”

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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