The Howard Preserve was created in 2004 thanks to a partnership between the Howard family, Wood River Land Trust, the City of Bellevue, Friends of Howard, and many interested organizations and individuals. The Howard family had owned the parcel since 1972 and, in order to protect it in perpetuity and keep it as a natural preserve with public access, they approached Wood River Land Trust to facilitate a bargain sale with the City of Bellevue. Mike Howard returns each fall to manage the annual picnic. He brings with him help from the restaurant at his Tres Pinos Inn in California and his cooking expertise.
Gates, benches, bridges and signage have been added to the Howard Preserve in a continual effort to provide a unique river access experience.
In addition to the ongoing restoration work, Wood River Land Trust & Friends of host the annual Howard Community Picnic in September with lamb, Idaho trout, roast pork & morels usually on the menu. Picnic attendees bring potluck side dishes and desserts to share.
The Howard Community Picnic is a continuation of an historic tradition dating back to the early 1900's.