What We Did
Created a park for Bozeman for recreation, wildlife protection, wetland conservation, and more.
Remediate damaged land and water quality, address community needs, and create habitat for wildlife.
Story Mill Park is a patchwork of unique park features, deliberate designs, and attentive restorations created by a compilation of experts to serve the booming Bozeman community.
This collective community enhancement is located at the confluence of Bozeman Creek and the East Gallatin River.
Before becoming a park, Story Mill featured a wetland, wildlife corridor, and water-powered mill. The mill closed in the 1950s and sat in disrepair for several decades.
In the 2000s, the area was slated for residential and commercial development. Development plans halted due to bankruptcy, and doors opened for public, private, and nonprofit organizations to create a plan to return the landscape to a wetland. Trust for Public Land and city, state, private, and nonprofit groups planned and implemented the Story Mill Restoration Project.
Local biologists and engineers saw an opportunity to undo the effects of industrialization, restore the naturally meandering streams and improve water quality, and regenerate acres of wetlands. In addition to restoring the wetlands, experts aimed to construct a recreational site.
Story Mill Park Features:
Outdoor Recreation: Story Mill Park includes trails, a climbing boulder, an adventure playground with a treehouse, recreational programs, a community center featuring camps, a picnic pavilion, lawn festivals, and a hillside amphitheater.
Dog Park: A 1-acre off-leash dog run.
Community: Story Mill Park fights food insecurity with a community learning garden where local youth organizations can raise their own crops and learn firsthand where food comes from.
Story Mill is determined to further help the community, as the Human Resources Development Council plans to build new equitable housing on 8 acres of land adjacent to the park.
Wetlands: The park’s 40-acre award-winning nature sanctuary includes almost a mile of restored river frontage along the East Gallatin River. This area offers fishing and 15 acres of wetlands to observe over 100 species of birds and numerous other wildlife.
Rich McEldowney of Confluence, Inc., who nominated the project for the wetlands award, noted, “Perhaps the most successful aspect of this project is the high level of inclusion and engagement with the community and stakeholders to provide vision and input throughout the four-year design and construction process.”