This coming Saturday there will be a celebration that all community members will want to take part. The occasion will be a grand opening for the Story Mill Community Park – the culmination of a collaboration among the nonprofit Trust for Public Land, the city, Bozeman voters and many donors.

The park’s 60 acres will become a cornerstone of the city of Bozeman’s park system. It will include a variety of features, including a nature sanctuary, community center, playground equipment and new trails – ideas gleaned from extensive public input. Construction of the park was financed by $4.5 million in voter-approved parks and trails bonds and nearly $12 million given by more 450 individuals, businesses and nonprofits.

This has truly been a community effort and the coordination of so many diverse participants into success in such a short time is a remarkable accomplishment.

The park sprang up from inauspicious beginnings – a failed development proposal that displaced some 90 households from a mobile home park once located there. But the park isn’t the only benefit to accrue from those beginnings. The Trust for Public Land and the Human Resource Development Council announced plans earlier this year to build dozens of affordable housing units on eight acres adjacent to the park.

Visitors from out of state and around Montana are often heard to remark with envy on the Bozeman’s inviting parks and trails. Those things haven’t happened on their own. It took a lot of foresight and selfless perseverance on the part of many people. And years down the road Story Mill Park will have a special place in the history of Bozeman’s parks heritage.

Those who wish to contribute to the continuing development of the Story Mill Community Park can learn more at And plan on going to the park – accessed on Bridger Drive near the junction with Bridger Center Drive in northeast Bozeman – on July 20 for a grand opening to recognize the extraordinary efforts that went into this new park.

Editorial Board

  • Mark Dobie, publisher
  • Nick Ehli, managing editor
  • Bill Wilke, opinion page editor
  • Don Beeman, community member
  • Richard Broome, community member
  • Renee Gavin, community member
  • Sarabeth Rees, community member
  • David Swingle, community member

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