Project Partners :
Story Mill Community Park has been designed with the participation of hundreds of community residents and over twenty partner organizations. These partnerships will continue to flourish providing programming and outdoor education when the park opens including bird-watching with Sacajawea Audubon, water quality monitoring with Great Gallatin Watershed Council, growing local foods with Gallatin Food Bank, soils and geology curriculum with Montana State University, wetland ecology classes with Montana Outdoor Science School, site maintenance with Montana Conservation Corps and more.
What started this project?
As the community experiences rapid growth, residents recognized the importance of investing in a ‘central park’ for Bozeman to maintain close-to-home access to nature and provide public spaces where everyone can come together to recreate, restore and renew. Story Mill Community Park is a partnership with The Trust for Public Land, the City of Bozeman and hundreds of community residents who have participated in park design workshops and supported the park campaign.
In February 2014, the Bozeman City Commission unanimously approved the Story Mill Community Park proposal, with overwhelming community support. The park will be built with the ideas and passion of hundreds of community members, funding from the voter-approved 2012 Bozeman Parks & Trails bond measure, and the support of many generous donors.The Trust for Public Land recently completed a two year restoration of the site's wetlands and wildlife habitat, including a full half mile along the East Gallatin River, and now designs are being finalized for an accessible adventure playground, river front access to the East Gallatin, a 40-acre nature sanctuary, learning garden and edible food forest, park community center, almost 4 miles of trails, a climbing boulder and natural amphitheater, off-leash dog park, pavilions and gathering spaces and much more.
Located less than two miles from Main Street in the City of Bozeman’s park-poor, northeast neighborhood, the Story Mill Community Park will serve as Bozeman’s flagship community park. The 60-acre site will be the city’s largest natural park and, through the collaboration with The Trust for Public Land, brings a new level of park design and activation to the city park system.
600 Bridger Dr, Bozeman, MT, 59715, USA
Story Mill Community Park will serve the entire Bozeman and greater Gallatin Valley Community as a park that residents can spend an entire day enjoying or come back day after day with a huge range of park experiences and amenities. The park will celebrate the natural and cultural history of the site, provide sanctuary to over 125 species of birds and wildlife, protect and enhance water quality in the East Gallatin River and Bozeman creek, offer a place to celebrate, play and explore for generations to come.
Park construction was started this spring and will continue through spring 2019 – leading to a park celebration in summer 2019. The Trust for Public Land acquired and protected the property in late 2012 and since then has been working with residents and the City of Bozeman to design the park, secure Master Site Plan approvals, restore site rivers and wetlands, develop a park community center to house the city recreation department, engage partners on interpretive programming, and now to construct this amazing park. The City of Bozeman is contributing $4.5 million through the Trails, Open Space and Parks bond program which will be matched by $11.6 million in generous community support through private donations being raised by The Trust for Public Land.
The park has already been recognized with two prestigious awards – the 2017 Montana Wetland Stewardship Award and the 2017 President’s Award from the ID-MT Association of Landscape Architects. Last spring, at the groundbreaking celebration, hundreds of Bozeman residents of all ages came together with great anticipation to celebrate this shared new community gathering place and extraordinary park resource.