The National Association of REALTORS® publishes a magazine, On Common Ground, twice each year. The Spring 2019 edition was full of topics that can resonate in any market across the nation. An article entitled “The Undeniable and Enduring Value of Nature” by G.M. Filisko especially struck home due to the Bozeman area’s penchant for parks, trails and open space.
A recent study by researchers at Penn State looked at how Americans view the importance of having parks in close proximity to where they live. They compared the data to the results from a comparable study done a quarter century prior and found that as much as the world has changed, the sentiment toward parks has stayed the same. “Americans want nature near their homes and workplaces.” Not only do people appreciate the existence of accessible outdoor opportunities, but further research shows that property values in areas near parks and open space are also higher than neighborhoods with comparable homes but less green.
Developers nationwide seem to be coming around to the fact that keeping some open space may initially decrease profit by building fewer housing units, but the tradeoff in increased salability and creating a sense of community is worth it in the long run. Trails that lead from residential neighborhoods to local businesses and provide spaces to stop and relax along the way are a benefit to the community at large.
Local examples of Bozeman embracing the open space concept are not hard to find. Developments throughout the area are making certain that occupants have easy access to enjoy the outdoors. The city of Bozeman is ultimately responsible for 42 public parks and local HOAs are often in charge of their own neighborhood parks. Within the city limits, there are 45 miles of trails in the Bozeman Trail System under the tagline “Main Street to Mountains.” The Gallatin Valley Land Trust provides digital trail maps of the area HERE for those wanting to plan some time out in nature. Whether you are looking for a leisurely stroll or hardcore training exercise, there is a trail in close proximity that will meet your requirements.
Another newsworthy item to mention is the recent grand opening of the Story Mill Community Park which was celebrated in true Bozeman style on July 20th. It has been a labor of love and is officially the largest city park with 60 acres full of trails, playground, climbing features, and enclosed dog park, an amphitheater and much more all along the East Gallatin River.
We are fortunate to live in an area that has the perfect combination of natural amenities and a community that supports maintaining and growing parks, open space and trail systems both in financial and usage terms.