Back in the 70's, long before I came to the Treasure Valley, a child blew out an ankle by stepping in a hole created by a irresponsible metal detectorist in one of the Boise parks. Metal detecting in Boise parks and at schools was outlawed soon after which remained in effect for several years. Donna J. Conn (DJ) of Conn's Wampum Hut tried for years to get the city to again allow metal detecting in the Boise parks and schools.

boise parks


In 2001 "metal detecting rules" for the Boise Parks And Recreation Department in accordance with Boise City Code was created. This allowed metal detecting to continue in Boise parks and schoolyards after a "recovery test" is given by DJ and a permit issued. The cost of the permit is currently $3.00,  and comes with a plastic cover and clip that must be visible on the detectorist while metal detecting. These permits are issued yearly commencing from June 1 through May 31 of the following year. Anyone under 18 can get a permit but must have a parent or guardian signature on the register when the permit is issued.


DJ has several (probably hundreds) coins buried on the Wampum hut property for teaching customers how to use their new metal detectors as well as to teach proper recovery methods for the yearly permits.


Below are the recovery methods you need to master, as well as the rules you must follow to get a permit:


  • Remove items properly from the turf
  • Do not use a knife or trowel
  • Do not dig plugs
  • Do not pull grass
  • No probes longer than 8 inches or 1/4 inches across
  • Always heel probed ground
  • Abide by all Boise parks rules and regulations
  • Do not interfere with reserve activities, organized sporting activities, or other Boise parks uses


You can get more information by contacting DJ at Conn's Wampum Hut at (208) 343-2813. They are located at 209 E. 36th Street in Garden City. You can also visit their website by clicking on "Wampum Hut" under the links category on the right side of this blog.


On another note, the city of Nampa now requires permits to metal detect in their parks, but I believe there is no charge for the permit at this time and it doesn't expire. You can get more information by contacting the Nampa Parks and Recreation Department.  And, finally, make sure you get your Boise Parks and schools permit to metal detect or you could face a heavy fine if caught without one.