DRUMMOND - Less than a mile south of Drummond’s Front Street, a new park is picking up foot traffic.
“If somebody's looking for a peaceful place without a bunch of traffic and they want to walk along the river, this is a place to come,” said John Hunter.
Representing the Drummond Kiwanis Club, Hunter and fellow Kiwanis member Chuck Johnson showed off 32 acres of land now owned by the group.
The site offers walking trails, access to the Clark Fork River, and a blue heron rookery.
“We’re going to leave it rustic and natural,” said Johnson. “We don’t want to do improvements that will take away from its natural state.”
The Kiwanis Club is known for its rodeo, reading programs, and scholarships, but acquiring and developing the land into a community park is a new feat.
“When people tell us they really enjoyed walking the park, it makes me swell up with pride, you know, that we're undertaking this project,” said Johnson.
Projects of this scope don’t just fall into place.
Members of the Kiwanis Club began dreaming of this park over a decade ago.
“We just think it's a thing we can do for our community to make it a better community and provide those opportunities for families to come and enjoy themselves,” Johnson told MTN News.
It was Johnson who led the charge on the application for the $85,000 grant from the Natural Resource Damage Program.
Hunter spearheaded the permits and the site planning and a hundred other steps were completed by others in the club.
Surveying a well-groomed trail, the two said it’s a work in progress.
“We’re getting restrooms installed and the garbage cans are ordered and now we’re looking for sponsors or donations to help us pay for picnic tables and benches along the river,” said Hunter.
From the application to the hearings, the planning to the labor, Kiwanis members say the effort was well worth it.
“It’s a joyful work,” said Hunter.