Big Sky Community Park

Big Sky Community Park

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Hurlbut, Brian
Big Sky’s community park received a huge boost over the winter when it received an additional 23 acres, finalizing a much-anticipated deal that will one day create one of the most stunning multiuse parks in the state. Bozeman design firm Bechtle-Slade created the master plan for the now 44-acre park, which features an additional softball field, a concrete skate park, a permanent concert amphitheater, interpretive trails, playgrounds, picnic shelters, soccer fields, and more. The idea is for the park to be a “gathering place” for locals and tourists, says Mary Jane McGarity, executive director of the Big Sky Owners Association (BSOA). “I think this park is going to be pivotal as Big Sky grows and develops into a full-fledged community.”

The land was purchased for $500,000 by the Big Sky Community Corporation, the nonprofit offshoot of the BSOA, and made possible by money from Big Sky Resort tax funds, the Gallatin County Open Lands Board, and the Trust for Public Land. The current park is home to a softball field, a small skate park, an outdoor pavilion (where artists such as Willie Nelson have performed), and a playground, but the recently purchased acreage is nothing more than an empty field. The multimillion-dollar project will take several years to complete and much of the money still needs to be raised, but excitement is already building for the finished product. On tap this summer are several fund-raisers and an awareness campaign. “We’re marching forward,” McGarity said, “and it will open all kinds of possibilities.”
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