As Bozeman has grown, The Bozeman Parks and Recreation Department has been taking steps to maintain and enhance our beloved parks and trails. The department currently manages more than 40 parks and 60+ miles of trails in and around Bozeman.
The one thing that the city of Bozeman, Montana takes pride in, above all, is its parks and trails. People come here for the freedom to get lost in the bliss of Montana’s beautiful countryside, while also being just minutes from the heart of a bustling city.
Since the $15 million park bond was approved by voters in 2012, the city spent about $14 million of its funding on projects such as stream remodeling, trail extensions and three new parks that will add 150 acres to the city’s current 500 acres of parks.
Six major park projects are currently underway in Bozeman.
The Story Mill Community Park Project is working on transforming 55 acres adjoining the historic Story Mill on the northeast side Bozeman, an area currently lacking in parks, into both a nature sanctuary and a fun place outdoor recreation, community gatherings, and educational programs.
This new park will be an urban-style wetland, outlined by boardwalks along Bridger Canyon Drive, with a new trail, named Story Mill Spur, added to the trail network. In addition, this project will turn an old boys and girls club into the city’s first community center.
A New 80-acre Sports Park will be built on the west side of town, by Flanders Mill Road and Baxter Lane. The park will include 12 rectangular fields for sports such as soccer, lacrosse, and ultimate Frisbee, while also having open space, trails, and a playground and a splash pad for the kids. This park is planned to open in 2018.
A Nine-Acre Addition will be made to the 16-acre Bozeman Pond Park near Gallatin Valley Mall. This extension will include a new off-leash dog park, more trails, picnic areas and a natural playground.
Enhancement will be made to Bozeman Creek through Bogert Park, as part of the city’s environmental restoration initiative. The Bozeman Creek Enhancement Committee believes that the Bozeman Creek “is a focal point of our quality of life,” and intends “restore the natural processes for a functioning stream ecosystem.”
Two New Trails will be added to connect Bozeman’s trail system to the “M.” Front Street Trail will connect Oak Street Pathway to Story Mill Spur, leading to a 2.1-mile path that will be paved all the way to the famous “M” Trail. The goal of this project is to eliminate the need for hikers and bikers to drive a car just to get out of town. The completion date for this project is set for 2018.
More To Come, as the director of Bozeman Parks and Recreation, Mitch Overton, says there’s another $25 million in park projects underway with contributions from partners like Trust for Public Land, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, the Sports Park Foundation and many others. Seems like a great value for taxpayers!