Story Mill Community Park Grows With Purchase Of New Park Center


The Trust for Public Land today announced it has acquired the land owned by the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Montana directly adjoining the future Story Mill Community Park.

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 an 11,760-square foot building with a large gymnasium and several meeting rooms. The Boys & Girls Club listed the property for sale last year.

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 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 the Boys & Girls Club’s facility is ready-made for that purpose,” said Trust for Public Land Project Manager Maddy Pope. “We are exploring options with the City to use the building and surrounding infrastructure as a community center in our Community Park.”

The purchase was funded by a generous donation from The Kendeda Fund, a private grantmaking foundation with a long history of supporting conservation and community development projects in Montana.

“The Kendeda Fund is an enthusiastic supporter of The Trust for Public Land and its vision for Story Mill Community Park,” said Tim Stevens, Montana Fund Advisor for the Kendeda Fund. “The addition of the Boys & Girls Club property will help ensure the park is a true community asset in every sense of the term.”

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.

“The Trust for Public Land is offering us a truly extraordinary opportunity to support our growing city-wide recreation programs,” said Mitch Overton, Bozeman Parks and Recreation Director. “This facility will provide an amazing asset for our community to gather, learn, and play, and serve as a launching off point for the Story Mill Community Park.”

“This will be a critical planning and development year for Story Mill Community Park,” said Dick Dolan, Northern Rockies Director for The Trust for Public Land. “The Kendeda Fund’s gift represents a tremendous investment in our community and our vision for Story Mill Community Park. It will help take the park to the next level.”

To date The Trust for Public Land has raised more than $9.45 million for the park from 75 donors. “Thanks to our donors, we’re 80% of the way there; however, we still need to raise $2.17 million to fully leverage the City’s investment and build the amazing park that the people of Bozeman asked for in meeting after meeting,” adds Dolan. “This is a collaborative effort with partners from across our community. The end result will be a flagship park that we all contributed to with ideas, effort and resources.” 

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. The park will be built over a two-year construction schedule with the park opening slated for fall 2018. To learn more or donate, please visit

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

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