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Land around Story Mill to sell for possible park, trails

By Lauren Maschmedt, KTVM Anchor, lmaschmedt@ktvm.com
Published On: Dec 19 2012 11:00:10 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

"We're really excited, it's one of the last largest undeveloped parcels in town" said Deb Love, the Northern Rockies Director of The Trust for Public Land.

She said the organization is making an exciting new purchase. "There's amazing system of wetlands, over ten acres. It's the largest wetlands in Bozeman" she said.

They plan to buy the 61 acres near Story Mill- the land that a developer previously bought with plans to build housing and businesses, before going bankrupt.

A trailer park was torn down, and the land went to the hands of American Bank.

"A place where people can go and enjoy the beautiful natural area and walk along the river, do some fishing, ride their bike along the Story Mill Spur Trail" said Love, on her vision of future use of the land.

She went over the plans with us on Wednesday night. She said they hope to hold onto the land and sell it to the City of Bozeman, using some of the Parks and Trails bond and private donations. They'd like to build parks space and trails, and restore the wetland and Gallatin River area.

"We've got the Food Bank down here, we've got the Boys and Girls Club here" Love said, pointing to a map that outlines the property boundaries.

She said it's a prime location with many possibilities, and hopes the community will think so, too.

"We're really open to exploring all ideas for uses for the property" Love said.

We did talk to several area residents on Wednesday evening. None of them had heard about the plans, but initially told us they are on board with the idea of a park.

Love said they hope to host a public workshop in early February to discuss plans with the community, and hear directly from them on what they'd like to see done with the land.

The Trust for Public Land also has a public opinion poll open to anyone who wants to share thoughts and ideas on the land. Click here to take the survey.