Park & Recreation Awarded River Fund Grant

City of Great Falls Montana


DATE:  December 7, 2012

CONTACT: Jennifer Reichelt, Deputy City Manager – 455-8417




GREAT FALLS, Montana – This month the City’s Park and Recreation Department received a Missouri-Madison River Fund grant in the amount of $41,100 to replace the Broadwater Bay Boat Ramp. The funds are available after January 30, 2013 and the proposed project period is fall of 2013. The grant will be used to replace an old section of the boat ramp with a new, push-in concrete slab and will ensure uninterrupted, safe boat access for recreationalists to the Missouri River from Broadwater Bay Park. Funding for the grant is provided by the River Fund ($36,600) and matching dollars from PPL Montana ($4,500).

The Missouri-Madison River Fund Grant Program, implemented through the Missouri-Madison Comprehensive Recreation Plan, addresses ongoing needs for public recreation in the Missouri-Madison Project Area.  Since 2007, the River Fund has awarded almost $1.5 million in grant funding for public recreation and PPL Montana has provided more than $600,000 in matching funds.  These funds, along with agency and partner contributions, have resulted in nearly $3.5 million in recreation enhancements throughout the Missouri-Madison corridor.

Broadwater Bay Park is a 6.15 acre park located on the east bank of the Missouri River between 3rd Avenue South and the Warden Bridge. The City provided additional parking and landscaping improvements for the boat ramp in 2011. Improvements to the park included 14 additional parking spots for vehicle/trailer parking (doubling available boat ramp parking), irrigation, landscaping and tree planting as well as the installation of several picnic tables. The boat launch is staffed seasonally and is estimated to have over 2,200 launches per year. The boat launch is not only used by the public, but also by Great Falls Fire and Rescue, Search and Rescue and the Sherriff’s office for emergency response.  The 33 year-old boat ramp at Broadwater Bay is currently broken in several spots causing uneven and potentially unsafe conditions, and has often been the source of complaints. 

When asked about the Broadwater Bay Boat Ramp Replacement Project, Marty Basta, Park and Recreation Director, had this to say about the exciting opportunity, “The River Fund grant will allow us to replace our outdated boat launch, which will provide an enhanced recreational experience for users and provide safer access to the Missouri River. This project also promotes responsible behavior that protects our natural, cultural and social resources along the Missouri River.” The project supports management and resource plans for the area including the Missouri River Corridor Master Plan, the Park Master Plan and the Missouri-Madison Comprehensive Recreation Plan.

For more information about the Broadwater Bay Boat Ramp Replacement Project, contact Marty Basta at 771-1265.