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Bozeman dog owners will soon have a new park to take their canine friends.

On Thursday, members of The Trust for Public Land gathered with city officials, contractors and representatives from local pet toy and goods manufacturer West Paw to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new dedicated dog park off Story Mill Road.

Part of the $16 million Story Mill Community Park project, the 1-acre, fenced dog park — named the West Paw Dog Park — is the result of a $50,000 donation from the Bozeman company.

“When the opportunity came up, we knew it was something we had to be a part of,” said West Paw CEO Spencer Williams. “When we can contribute to the community where we live and work, it’s fantastic.”

Founded in 1996, West Paw has a dedicated group of employees, its “Giving Team,” which identifies local projects and causes for which the company can volunteer and donate.

The park donation was the largest in the company’s history, Williams said.

“Our employees want to get out do things in the community,” he said. “This is connecting people and dogs to this bigger parcel of land.”

Located off Story Mill just south of Griffin Drive, the dog park — which will eventually include trees, benches and possibly water features — will fill a need for local dog owners, said Maddy Pope with the Trust for Public Land.

“Bozeman parks and trails are really reaching a tipping point,” Pope said. “This is an example of how we can come together in a great way.”

The park will likely open with the rest of the Story Mill project sometime “before the snow flies,” Pope added.

Overseen by the city, the 60-acre park will feature a 200-person natural amphitheater, a 40-foot-long climbing wall, a 40-acre nature sanctuary and lengths of winding trails.

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Kendall can be reached at 406-582-2651 or He is on Twitter at @lewdak

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