How one local builder is taking the initiative with its sustainable communities
By Triston Brooks
Photography by Kimberlee Miller
The concept of sustainability is one that has ever increasingly been in the public eye over the past couple of years. With a functionally endless stream of news detailing excessive resource consumption and a changing climate, it is no surprise why. However a vast majority of the proposed solutions we are presented with focus on the individual, and while this is no doubt important, larger community efforts are mostly ignored. Which is why projects like Dry Creek Ranch are so refreshing to see.
The Dry Creek Development is the vision of the Hunter family, of Boise Hunter Homes – a longstanding and local homebuilder. Other builders in the development along with Boise Hunter Homes are the Biltmore Company, Highland Homes, Zach Evans Construction, Trident Homes, Stacy Construction, Belveal Construction, Solitude Homes, and Greencastle Homes.
As a new community being developed off of Highway 55, Dry Creek Ranch has sustainability as its forefront goal and objective. In addition to the entire community being supported by well water, they boast an on site water reclamation facility, walking trails, an equine park, and a community funded wildlife mitigation fund. Integrated into the community is a farm paid for, and supported by, the builders and local residents. As Travis Hunter of Boise Hunter Homes describes it, “we wanted to build the most sustainable planned community in the state”.
While Travis may be one of the leaders behind Dry Creek Ranch, there is another who is orchestrating the farm operation itself, Dan Meyer. Dan and Travis were connected serendipitously through an article circulating Facebook last year regarding Travis’s early plans for Dry Creek Ranch, one of which was the aforementioned farm. Dan, who at this point was running Morning Owl Farm, posted a comment, somewhat facetiously, asking how much they were planning on paying the would be farmer. Dan knew that most communities with on site farms were run on a volunteer basis, and doomed to fail because of it. However Travis took his comments seriously and reached out, eventually leading to his hiring as Farm Manager.
Farmer Dan, as he is affectionately known in the community, has aspirations as ambitious as Travis’s. The farm is structured with the goal of providing weekly fresh produce deliveries to every single one of its residents for the entirety of the growing season. However these are still the early days of the operation, and Dan is working hard to put all of the foundational pieces in place. Currently he spends his early days transplanting, renewing soil, and building their new greenhouse. Sustainability remains at the forefront here as well, compost is sourced from the city as part of their yard waste collection program, and all seeds are purchased locally at Snake River Seed.
Residents would normally have to pay around a $500 fee per household each year in order to gain access to the farm and its produce deliveries. However Boise Hunter Homes is covering most of the fee for its residents who sign up this season. Which will cost residents just a $50 remainder for a seasons worth of fresh produce delivery. Non-residents are able to participate in the program as well at the regular cost.
Now more than ever is a time when we should all be doing our part to build a better future. When a developer takes the initiative to build a community this intentional, and with an eye for how we can better the earth, we should all take notice.
You can find out more regarding Dry Creek Ranch and the community farm at: