Burke Park Master Plan Approved
February 17, 2023
We are thrilled to announce that earlier this month, the City of Bozeman Commissioners approved amendments to the Burke Park Master Plan. Approval of the plan means that the City of Bozeman Parks and Recreation Department, along with GVLT, can move forward in making improvements to Burke Park and Peets Hill, including enhancing and improving the additional 12 acres on the southern end of the park that were purchased in January 2022.
“The Burke Park Master plan had not been updated since 2003,” said Adam Johnson, GVLT Trails Project Manager. “Bozeman has grown in population from approximately 31,000 in 2003 to over 54,000 in 2022. Updating the plan gives us the ability to adjust the management of Burke Park to better suit the heavy use it is currently seeing.”
This population growth, along with the purchase of 12 additional acres, made for an ideal opportunity to update the existing Master Plan for the Peet’s Hill/Burke Park natural park area. After completing the purchase of the 12 additional acres last year, GVLT worked with the City of Bozeman to circulate a public survey on what improvements the community would like to see made to Peets Hill/Burke Park. A total of 546 responses to the survey were recorded.
The survey found that a majority of community members enjoy Burke Park for its scenic views of surrounding land, access to Native plants and wildflowers, and the Park’s connectivity to other trails. In addition, the survey found that 40% of respondents visit Burke Park at least once a week. Concerns ranged from land and native species preservation to maintaining scenic views. Survey responses were used to inform the amendments that GVLT made to the Master Plan.
It is a goal of the City of Bozeman that every park has a Master Plan. The purpose of these documents is to outline elements that are approved for development throughout the park and create a narrative describing overall goals or visions for park areas. The Burke Park Master Plan outlines the importance of maintaining and enhancing trails, natural vegetation, and scenic views.
One of the biggest amendments to the Burke Park Master Plan will entail adopting the single track that runs alongside the Chris Boyd trail as an official trail.
“People don’t realize that the single track was never part of the original plan,” Adam said. “Now that it is a part of the Master Plan, we can work to improve the single track and the surrounding vegetation.”
Improvements made to the 12 acres will include developing a new trail and two scenic overlooks within the parcel. GVLT is working with Design 5 to finalize design plans for the 12 acres, including installing a Rangefinder with an interpretive seating area and improved ADA access. New fencing will also be installed to delineate off-leash areas at Burke Park. The entirety of the new 12-acre area will require all pets to be leashed when entering the property.
Adam says that improvements will begin this summer with the installation of the range finder as well as the ADA accessible overlook. We hope to begin building a new trail in the summer of 2024. Comments, questions or concerns about the new design concepts can be directed to the City of Bozeman Parks and Recreation Department.