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Groundbreaking marks milestone for Story Mill park

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BOZEMAN, Mont. - People in Bozeman celebrated the groundbreaking of a multi-million dollar park on Sunday morning. Dubbed the Central Park of Bozeman, once complete Story Mill Community Park will be Bozeman's largest park.

The $12 million project will be 60 acres. That makes it three times bigger than the city's largest park.

Right now, the land is mostly open field. When construction wraps up, the park will include a quarter-mile-long playground, a boulder wall, a community center, off-leash dog park among other features. It will also be home to a 40-acre natural sanctuary.

Sunday marked the start of 18 months of construction.

"This is a complex construction project and so we will have to be very thoughtful and careful. We've spent two years on design," said Maddy Pope, project manager for the Trust for Public Land.

That work can't be completed without raising all the necessary funds.

"We're marking an incredible milestone but there's still plenty of work left to be done," Pope added.

To pay for the park, the city of Bozeman kicked in $4.5 million dollars. The Trust for Public Land acquired another $5.5 million in grants. That still leaves $1.5 million left to raise over the next year.

The city's portion of the funding comes from a voter approved 2012 Trails, Open Space and Parks Bond.

The park will be open for play in Fall of 2018.

Click here to learn more about how to donate to the park.

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