Upcoming Friday Forum: January 10th


The public is invited to a free Friday Forum on Friday, Jan. 10 to hear about the proposed Story Mill Community Park located on approximately 50 acres adjoining the old Story Mill in northeast Bozeman. The forum is sponsored by Wonderlust, a lifelong learning organization affiliated with Montana State University's Extended University.


Maddy Pope, project manager with The Trust for Public Land, Northern Rockies Office located in Bozeman, is the speaker. 


The Trust for Public Land is proposing to sell the land to the City of Bozeman to become the newest and largest community park using funding through the new Trails, Open Space and Parks bond fund. They are working with partners across the community to develop the long-term vision for the new park which would include both an active park area for public enjoyment and recreation and a protected nature sanctuary for wildlife and to serve as an outdoor classroom. The property’s wetland complex connects Bozeman Creek with the East Gallatin River just above the confluence of the two streams and includes an ambitious wetlands restoration as well as expanded trail connections.


The Trust For Public Land is a national organization with local offices working to protect the places people care about and to create close-to-home parks. The goal is to ensure that every child has easy access to a safe place to play in nature.


Pope’s career with The Trust for Public Land spans 15 years during which she has served in several capacities. In addition to project management, much of her work has focused on building partnerships and working in communities. A longtime resident of Bozeman, Pope has served as a board member of Gallatin Valley Land Trust and the Montana Outdoor Science School. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, and a Master’s degree from Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Science.


The forum is free and open to the public.


It begins at noon at the Bozeman Public Library. Attendees are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch.


Kathryn Earley 2When my husband and I were looking for our place to retire, one of the places we visited was Bozeman.  While we were here we went to the library, where I happened to pick up a Wonderlust brochure.  Here was university-quality instruction by experts in a huge number of subjects.  No homework, no exams, no papers, just a chance to learn new things or review things we’d already studied.  It was also an opportunity to meet people with a wide variety of interests.  I was hooked! Over the past several years, I’ve come to feel strongly about supporting this valuable community resource for lifelong learning, and fortunately there’s a community of dedicated volunteers who feel the same way.

This past year was our first as Friends of MSU Wonderlust, whose mission is to support and promote MSU Wonderlust.  We’ve contributed funds to getting a new projector at Hope Lutheran Church, where many of our classes are held, and to Gallatin Community Radio, which broadcasts many of our Friday Forums.  We’re also sponsors of and taking part in Active Aging Week and the Prime Age 50+ Expo.

In January Friends will sponsor the MSU Wonderlust reception.  Join us at the Country Bookshelf on January 9, 5 pm – 7 pm, where you can meet instructors and other people interested in learning.  

Kathryn Earley, President of Friends of Wonderlust