News & Features

Flathead County Supports Expansion of Lakeside’s Volunteer Park

Lakeside couple working on purchasing land that would nearly double the size of waterfront park

The Flathead County Commission has given a Lakeside couple the green light to purchase a piece of waterfront property in Lakeside for an expansion of Volunteer Park.

Earlier this month, Margaret Davis and Bruce Ennis approached the commission about their plans to purchase an approximately 2-acre piece of land along Flathead Lake, just north of the existing Volunteer Park. The couple plans to purchase the land and donate it to the county to expand the park but wanted to first ensure that the Flathead County Parks and Recreation Department would accept and maintain the land.

Davis said the go-ahead from the county meant she and her husband could continue negotiations for the property. If the couple is successful, Lakeside’s Volunteer Park will expand to a total of 4.8 acres, right on the edge of Flathead Lake. The property the couple is eyeing currently has 11 structures on it, including outbuildings, homes and a business, which will have to be removed before it can be turned into parkland.

“When the land went up for sale, we knew this was not an opportunity that might arise again,” Davis said.

Nearly a decade ago, Davis and Ennis donated the land for the first section of Volunteer Park along U.S. Highway 93. Ennis is originally from the Flathead Valley but lived elsewhere until returning to the area about 15 years ago. Soon after landing in Lakeside, the couple realized that public access to the lake was limited and wanted to do something about it. They purchased the land and donated it to the county in August 2010.

The park was named in tribute to the many community volunteers in Lakeside.

“Things don’t happen without people stepping up and making them happen,” Davis said. “This community has a real can-do spirit.”

If the couple is successful in purchasing the land, Davis said she hopes it will be in the county’s hands by 2021.

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