|There is hope for a new Columbia Gardens to be built in uptown Butte. The
Wednesday, December 24, 1997 special edition of The Montana Standard talked about
this proposal. John Stucke, writer for the paper, stated:
"A cadre of local leaders announced intentions to build a $20 million to $25 million 'Butte Gardens' amusement park in the tradition of the cherished Columbia Gardens.
It happened on the heels of a land deal that opens near-dead East Butte for development, and could cover about 90 acres from Mercury Street to the railroad tracks, with flower gardens and grassy picnic areas, wading pools and walking trails.
Designs include a roller coaster and Ferris wheel, a toy-air-plane ride and a petting zoo, along with a 35,000 square foot pavilion, said Don Peoples, a member of Project Green and president of the nonprofit Montana Energy Research and Development Institute (MERDI).
People's stated: 'I don't want anyone to think we can replicate the original Columbia Gardens. That would be impossible.'
Jack Lynch, county chief executive, called the concept a nostalgic plan and agreed with Peoples that it couldn't replace Columbia Gardens.
Instead, he said the amusement park easily could be linked with other county plans to build an elaborate trails system linking parks and recreation areas, such as baseball fields and picnic areas.
He said a Butte Gardens project would complement ongoing Superfund cleanup work and recover the lost treasure that was Columbia Gardens. The original gardens were closed in 1973.
Other organizations, such as the Spirit of Columbia Gardens Carousel group, which is busy carving wooden ponies and raising money, along with the ice skating and hockey groups, will be asked to submit plans for a carousel site and a new indoor ice skating rink."
For a picture and map of the proposed Butte Gardens and what it will include, click here.