Located in the southwestern portion of Idaho, Nampa is the second-largest city in Idaho. With a population of more than 76,000 residents, Nampa has grown nearly 50 percent since 2000. With its proximity to Interstate 84, the town is able to rely on large shopping centers and large retailers to help with its continual development. However, Nampa's history will always remain true to its roots as an important railroad town in the 1800s. The roads in Nampa were strategically built to run perpendicular to the railroad tracks, and to this day, the historic roads in Nampa can be identified by their location to the railroad tracks.
Nampa is located amidst Idaho's Treasure Valley, or 'Banana Belt,' which creates a mild climate all year. Because the city is bordered to the north by the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and to the south by the Owyhee Mountains, its summers are warm and dry. With highs in the low 90s, Nampa remains at a low humidity, making the warm air comfortable. In the winter lows are in the 20s with minimal snowfall. Nampa has more than 200 days of sun each year.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Nampa is located in Canyon County, which is responsible for more than 90 percent of the world's sweet corn crops. The county is also a major leader in livestock, dairy, and alfalfa.
This is also a major wine-producing part of the country. The combination of Nampa's location along the Snake River, the climate, and its geography within the country make the growing conditions ideal. The five vineyards in Nampa produce mostly cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, roussanne, pinot gris, merlot, and syrah grapes. More than 20 vineyards are located in surrounding areas.
Nampa also has a manufacturing base: goods such as furniture, wood products, and computer chips are produced here. Technological companies are well represented, with businesses such as computer equipment manufacturer MCMS headquartered in Nampa. MCMS is one of the leading employers in the city.
Nampa's public schools include:
- 6 Kindergarten
- 11 Elementary
- 3 Junior High/Middle
- 2 Senior High
- Boise State University Selland College of Applied Technology
- Northwest Nazarene University
Yearly events in Nampa include:
- The Boise Philharmonic performs in Nampa from January through May and again in September through November.
- The Music Theater of Idaho presents the community with professional quality, family-centered, affordable live musical theatre.
- The Nampa Famers Market was founded in 1989 and averages 40 to 50 local vendors per week, offering produce, foods, crafts, plants and flowers.
- Downtown Nampa Nights is a free summer concert series.
Nampa's sports fans can route for local sports teams:
- Boise State Track and Field (in Nampa January-February)
- College Basketball NNU (November-February)
- Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge at Lake Lowell: Home to a variety of wildlife, including raptors, waterfowl, and other birds and mammals. In late fall and early winter, more than 150,000 ducks and 15,000 geese roost on the lake and feed from the surrounding areas. A visitor's center to the north of Lake Lowell has exhibits detailing the area's wildlife.
- Farmers Market: Vendors have been setting up shop for more than 15 years on Main Street in front of the Old Historic Train Depot (now the Canyon County Historical Museum) to sell fresh produce and homemade goods. The market is open every Saturday from May through October.
- Old Historic Train Depot/Canyon County Historical Museum: The original train depot was built in 1903 and now serves as the local historical museum. The train depot was open until the 1920s, when it was used for Union Pacific Railroad Offices. The building now houses Canyon County and Union Pacific memorabilia.
- Hispanic Cultural Center: This museum and educational program celebrates the Hispanic culture of Idaho.
- Nampa Recreation Center: This 140,000-square-foot facility has one of the largest rock-climbing walls in Idaho; three collegiate-size basketball courts; an indoor running track; three dance studios; a gymnastics floor; five swimming pools; and a spa, sauna, and steam room. One-day and annual passes are available.
- The Berry Ranch: This family-owned and operated ranch is available for family hayrides and picking fruits and vegetables.
- Wilson Ponds Fish Hatchery: The parklike setting is complete with five ponds perfect for bird-watching, fishing, or taking a leisurely walk around them. The ponds are stocked with fish every two weeks.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
There are parts of town that appeal to every age group:
- City Center/Northwest Nazarene College: This area appeals to families with children. It is a quiet neighborhood built primarily in 1995 or later. Both owners and renters reside in this area, many of whom have executive or managerial jobs. The southwestern portion of this neighborhood is located along Lake Lowell.
- Karcher Junction: This is a walkable, suburban area. West Park, a 44-acre park with playground equipment, open space, and sports facilities, is located in the neighborhood. Owners and renters from many age groups live in this area of the city.
- Second Street/Eleventh Avenue: This is a walkable, artsy area that is home to mostly renters. It's a mostly historic part of town that was built in 1939 or before. The houses in this area are mostly small, single-family homes or apartments.
- Eleventh Avenue/Sixth Street: Lakeview Park is located in this neighborhood. Lakeview is Nampa's oldest park and features sports facilities and well-developed scenery. This neighborhood is a walkable, urban area of Nampa. A mix of age groups and some families with children live here.
- Tiegs Corner/Swartz Corner: This is a rural part of the city that is home to mostly families with children. This area has both single-family homes and mobile homes.