City received two grants for West Bank Park improvements

Great Falls Park and Recreation received funding through the Missouri-Madison River Fund for improvements in West Bank Park.

The department was awarded $13,340 toward repairing the non-motorized boat launch that was originally constructed in 2011, with River Fund grant funds.

Trail upgrades planned in West Bank Park

Since then, the gravel path to the ADA docks have eroded significantly and according to Park and Rec, the path is not currently ADA compliant due to the slope and condition.

The project will include

  • Replacing the gravel path with a 5” reinforced concrete ADA compliant sidewalk to the docks. Slight realignment of current path will allow for proper slope;
  • Adding one 5’ section of dock and additional 16’ gangway to extend the ADA non-motorized boat launch further into the Missouri River to an adequate depth for the dock to function;
  • Appropriate construction permitting and contracting.

The grant will be supplemented with $2,300 from Park and Rec and $1,000 from the River’s Edge Trail Foundation.

West Bank Park master plan improvements nearly complete

Park and Rec also received $8,944 from the River Fund to construct an ADA accessible wildlife viewing station along the River’s Edge Trail in West Bank Park, primarily for birding though beavers, deer and other scenery abounds.

Year-round access will allow patrons to engage with wildlife and scenery in West Bank Park through two Seacoast Mark II 10 X 40 power binoculars, according to Park and Rec’s grant application.

Park and Rec improvements underway, through park district, grants, CDBG funds

Project will include:

  • Repurposing the 10’ x 14’ foundation of an abandoned irrigation pump house;
  • Concrete ADA ramp from existing trail to the viewing platform;
  • ADA railing up ramp and around the platform;
  • Two ADA Binocular viewers and base;
  • 1” X 6” composite decking over concrete foundation. This is required to cover some steel that was left from the irrigation lines and manhole cover that could not be removed;
  • Interpretive signage of bird species in the area.

West Bank park has been upgraded significantly in recent years with new restrooms, irrigation and landscaping, concrete trail, parking lot, playground and pavilion have taken it from an under-utilized park property to one of our premier park destinations. All amenities are ADA accessible, according to Park and Rec.

The projects were identified in the West Bank Park Master Plan.

Park district projects underway

Some of those projects were supported by the River Fund. Others funding came from the West Bank tax increment financing district, federal grants, local donations, the Kaboom grant projects and the Park and Rec budget.

“This project will complement the ongoing efforts to improve a real gem in our park system,” Park and Rec staff wrote in their grant application.

The project also includes $2,200 from Park and Rec for in-kind labor and materials to construct the composite decking on the platform; and $1,000 from the River’s Edge Trail Foundation. A local resident also donated $1,000 toward an exposed aggregate memorial park bench to be installed next to the viewing station for seating, according to Park and Rec.