Mary Austin Crofts, the longtime head of the Blaine County Recreation District who oversaw the establishment of the Wood River Trail path system, died Wednesday in Boise of complications from a heart attack and stroke. She was 73.
Crofts was discovered in her Ketchum home Sunday after the incident and was airlifted to a Boise hospital, daughter-in-law Kodi Crofts said Thursday.
After establishing herself as a successful advertising executive, Crofts was hired to be the executive director of the Blaine County Recreation District in 1984. In that role, she worked with others to coordinate a “rails to trails” initiative that turned the defunct Union Pacific railroad line between Bellevue and Ketchum into a multi-use, non-motorized, paved public path.
In leading the BCRD for 20 years, Crofts also coordinated planning of other trails in the valley and was part of efforts to save public access to Galena Lodge and bring its operations under the umbrella of the BCRD.
From 2009-2016, Crofts was the executive director of the Trailing of the Sheep Cultural Heritage Center, which organizes the annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival in the Wood River Valley. Crofts is credited with growing the festival’s events and attendance.
Later roles included running advertising, marketing and fundraising for the nonprofit Crisis Hotline and serving as executive director of The Chamber of Hailey & the Wood River Valley.
Crofts is survived by her stepson Tyler Crofts, his wife, Kodi, and their sons, Cooper, Isaac and Oakley; and her stepson Ryan Crofts, his daughter, Aria Crofts, and his companion, Alexis Duvall. She is also survived by a great-granddaughter, Sadie Crofts.
She was predeceased by her husband, Kim Crofts, in 2008.
For more on this story, see the Wednesday, March 22, edition of the Idaho Mountain Express. ￼
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I was not involved in the original development of the Broadford Polo Club Subdivision which may have required river access.
Block 5 Open Space of the Broadford Polo Club Subdivision was conveyed to the County in 1985 by James and Ann McElveen when they created the subdivision. It existed before I moved to Broadford Road in 1987 or owned any of the lots in the Subdivision. Mary's statement, “Fortunately, the county commissioners fought right with me and the Broadford Open Space was created.” was completely false as I was not involved in the creation of the Broadford Open Space. The Mountain Express should have fact checked this letter and never published it.
Welcome to the discussion.