Donation of New Community Center for Story Mill Community Park Finalized

November 30, 2017
BOZEMAN, MT

The Trust for Public Land today announced it has donated the land and building formerly owned by the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Montana to the City of Bozeman. An addition to Story Mill Community Park, the building will become a new community center and headquarters for Bozeman's Recreation Division.

The property, which lies at the northwestern boundary of the planned park with frontage on both Bridger Drive and the East Gallatin River, is approximately five acres total and includes a 12,000-square foot building with a large gymnasium and several meeting rooms.

The Boys & Girls Club listed the property for sale in 2016, and The Trust for Public Land negotiated the purchase with the specific intent of donating the property to the City as part of the new Story Mill Community Park. The purchase was funded by a generous donation to the Campaign for Story Mill Community Park from The Kendeda Fund, a private grantmaking foundation with a long history of supporting conservation and community development projects in Montana.

"The addition of this property will have tremendous benefits for the park and everyone who visits it. The idea of a community center was always on the list of things people wanted during our design outreach, and this facility is ready-made for that purpose," said Trust for Public Land Project Manager Maddy Pope.

The Trust for Public Land will work with the City and local organizations to ensure this addition to the now 60-acre park provides broad community benefits for outdoor education and recreation programs.

"This facility could not come at a better time," said Mitch Overton, Bozeman Parks and Recreation Director. "It rounds out our community's signature park, provides much needed gym and meeting room space, and will be our headquarters for programs and camps. What a terrific gift for our community from The Trust for Public Land and The Kendeda Fund!"

The land and building donation comes as The Trust for Public Land announces progress towards reaching the $11.6 million goal of the Campaign for Story Mill Community Park. "Thanks to our donors, we're almost 90% of the way there. The end is in sight, but we must raise $1.2 million by next summer to leverage the City's investment and build this amazing park" says Pope.

Last June, during a groundbreaking ceremony for the park, The Trust for Public Land announced that an anonymous donor has made a $50,000 challenge for any gifts made online to the project via support.tpl.org/storymill. So far, $30,000 has been raised towards the challenge, leaving $20,000 to raise by December 31st to receive the matching grant.

About Story Mill Community Park
The Trust for Public Land has been working on Story Mill Community Park since 2012, gathering community input to develop plans that include an extensive, multi-year river and wetland restoration effort that will result in a 40 acre nature sanctuary, a network of trails, gathering and play spaces, a teaching farm, safe access to the East Gallatin River and a one-of-a-kind playground. With strong community backing, the City Commission unanimously approved the Story Mill Community Park proposal in 2014 and dedicated $4.5 million in parks and trails bond funds to the project. The Trust for Public Land is now raising the remaining funds and working with the community and City officials to complete the park's master plan. Already the project has received the Montana Wetlands Stewardship Award and the President's Award for Excellence from the Idaho/Montana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The park will be constructed next spring/summer with the park opening slated for fall 2018. To learn more or donate, please visit support.tpl.org/storymill.

About the Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.

About The Kendeda Fund
The Kendeda Fund is a private grantmaking foundation that invests in transformative leaders and ideas, empowering communities across the U.S. and around the globe to enhance equity, vibrancy, resourcefulness, and resilience. The Kendeda Fund helps underrepresented but trusted voices build social and community capital by supporting experienced and emerging leaders who have the vision to see problems differently and the courage to challenge conventional thinking. Learn more about the Fund's work in Montana and beyond at www.kendedafund.org.