Have you hiked the area? Are there trails? With trails, it would be OK. But you will find it harder/slower than running on the roads. The run/walk concept is most important to a gradual introduction to running. It can be done as well on trails as on the road. Without trails, I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner. Boots? You probably don't need boots, unless you're trying to protect your lower legs against something like snakebite. A good pair of trail running shoes should provide adequate support.
I do a lot of hiking as well as running, and I'd hesitate to do a run, even on rough terrain, in hiking boots. They'd provide plenty of ankle support and traction, but it would also be the equivalent of running with ankle weights, and would put a lot of extra stress on your lower leg joints. Not to mention that they'd also keep your feet and ankles from flexing normally during a run.
@ 5K: Ontario Mills 5K, Ontario, CA, 25:17
New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32
@ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15