City considering three lease agreements for park use

City Commissioners will consider three lease agreements during their Oct. 20 meeting for city-owned property.

Staff is recommending approval of each agreement.

The first is with the Electric City Archers of Great Falls for a 5-year lease with the option to renew for another five years at the city’s discretion for a potion of Wadsworth Park.

The archers group would pay $150 annually and be responsible for day-to-day maintenance.

The City Commission approved the Wadsworth Park Master Plan in December 1998 and at the time, it was recommended that existing leases be continued on a renewable basis until the city is ready to begin “actual physical implementation of the master plan,” according to the city staff report. There currently no funds available for capital improvements in Wadsworth Park, according to city staff.

The second lease is a five-year lease with River City Harvest with the option to renew for the north portion of Community Hall Park at 410 16th St. S.W.

River City Harvest will pay an annual $1 fee and be responsible for maintenance of the north portion of the park.

The Great Falls Park and Recreation Department has had a lease agreement with River City Harvest since 2019 for the use of the north potion of the park for developing a network of vegetable gardens and fruit orchards for the community, according to city staff.

Commissioners will also consider a five-year lease agreement with Sunburst Unlimited Incorporated for the south portion of Community Hall Park.

Sunburst Unlimited would pay $1 annually and be responsible for day-to-day maintenance of the southern portion of the park.

Park and Rec has held an agreement with Sunburst Unlimited for use of the park in developing a network of vegetable gardens and fruit orchards called FRESH Food Farms since 2012. Items that are grown are dedicated to local groups such as the Boys & Girls Club, Meals on Wheels, Head Start, and low and moderate income families, according to the staff report.

“Sunburst Unlimited has increased the garden each year to include fruit trees, bees for pollinating, barrel planting, raised gardens and pot plantings. They have built an area to conduct informative classes on gardening. They work with numerous growers and organizations in Great Falls, and have a manager to oversee the entire garden,” according to the staff report.