Last fall, the City of Bozeman approved the master plan for Story Mill Community Park, an ongoing Trust for Public Land (TPL) project on the north side of Bozeman. That means full steam ahead for the over-60-acre park that promises to forever change the outdoor offerings within city limits. Once complete, the park will be owned by the City of Bozeman, with TPL donating the land. So far, plans include paved and gravel trails, a community garden, multiple fishing-access points along a mile of the East Gallatin River, an adventure-play playground designed to replicate natural features, and a 150- to 200-person amphitheater. While plans for the park have been in development for some time, groundbreaking is officially this summer, and construction gets underway June 24. Story Mill Community Park will be fully accessible to the public by fall 2019.
One major development in the last year is the addition of the Boys & Girls Club building already on site. TPL was able to purchase this facility and include it in the park, making it the headquarters for Bozeman’s Parks & Recreation department. Parks & Rec will offer classes from the building and use it for events, and the park itself will serve as the department’s flagship property.
Another unique feature of the park is the restored wetlands along the river. Through a multi-organization partnership, previously inactive wetland ecosystems have been restored, meaning wildlife has returned to the park in a big way. It’s not uncommon to see deer, dozens of bird species, and various other small mammals inhabiting the 60-acre plot. This group effort garnered statewide recognition when the project was awarded a Montana Wetlands Stewardship Award earlier this spring.
While plans for the park have been finalized, fundraising is still underway. To donate time or money, visit tpl.org/storymill.