The gal with a plan

Alexis Barker

Submitted photo

Linda Hunt helped organize and create hiking trails in Weston County, including Serenity Trail, above, north of Newcastle. Other projects she has worked on include the Flying V Trail and the Stampede Street historic tour.


Alexis Barker

NLJ News Editor


Linda Hunt, an almost lifelong resident of Weston County, has always loved the community she was raised in, something that helped to make community service a major part of her life. Hunt’s contributions to the area didn’t start in 2021, and they sure as heck won’t end there, but that doesn’t mean that Hunt isn’t the perfect nominee for 2021 Person of the Year. 

Nominated by longtime friend Nancy Darnell, Hunt’s contributions to the community have often come in the form of beautification, historical preservation, outdoor recreation and long-term improvements to the community. From helping to establish both Serenity and the Flying V trails to working with the city of Newcastle to develop bike paths in the city, her work in the area will be enjoyed by people across generations, likely for long after Hunt is gone. 

“Linda is one of the most civic-minded people I know,” Darnell said. “This year she finished the Stampede Street Project. It has been a multi-year project, which Linda completed with two beautiful and informative signs at the Weston County Fairgrounds, as well as a beautiful entry sign for Kilpatrick Park and new cement sidewalks for the Snack Shack.” 

In addition to these projects, Darnell said, Hunt is also involved with the Flowering Fingers Garden Club, Weston County CowBelles, the Friends of the Weston County Fair and local historical preservation projects. 

“In each of these groups, she works hard on beautification
and other projects. Linda is truly a Weston County and Newcastle advocate,” Darnell said. 

Former city engineer Bob Hartley, who worked alongside Hunt on several projects over the years, echoed Darnell’s thoughts, saying that Hunt has done a lot for the community. He noted that Hunt has donated not only her time but also countless dollars to the projects she is involved in. 

“She just works hard for the community and always has,” Hartley said. 

City Clerk-Treasurer Greg James also recognized how instrumental Hunt has been in establishing both the bike paths and historical projects in the area. 

“She has a fondness for historical preservation and worked hard to get Stampede Street identified as a historical site,” James said. “She has always had the best interests of Newcastle in all her efforts.” 

When asked why she does what she does, Hunt said that Newcastle and Weston County are home and they mean a tremendous
amount to her. 

“I moved to Boise for three years to try and live in the city, and it was like my umbilical cord was cut. I was so homesick I couldn’t stand it,” Hunt said. 

Upon returning to Newcastle, Hunt picked up where she had left off, jumping back into her active role in the community. Since her return, she has completed several projects and continues to work on more. 

In addition to the previously named work completed by Hunt in 2021, she reported that she has also been working on developing a park area for Gray Addition and is excited to see that the last phase of the bike path project is underway. 

“I have to keep busy. I have to have something to do, so I do things in a positive way for the community. It seems like the right thing to do,” Hunt said. 

While working on her projects and coming up with new ideas, she said, she likes to think about who will benefit, how long it will last and what it will bring to the community. 

“I try to accomplish things that benefit the entire community if they wish,” Hunt said, noting that the trails and bike paths are free to anyone who wants to use them. 

In the end, Hunt said she is honored to be recognized and asserts that her accomplishments have come with the help of many others. Although admitting that she is getting physically tired as she ages, Hunt said that it feels good to continue her work of bettering the community for generations to come.


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