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'Day park' plan for the Missouri River near Bismarck revived

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A plan to create a new state “day park” along the Missouri River south of Bismarck has been revived.

The 2015 Legislature originally passed the plan. It took 300 acres from the Department of Corrections’ Missouri River Correctional Center to create the park. But the state Parks and Recreation Department didn’t have the money to develop the park, and the land was conveyed back to Corrections.

The House has now added language to the Parks budget to again establish the “day park.”

"There won't be softball diamonds there, or lots of picnic tables," said Rep. Bob Martinson (R-Bismarck), the author of the amendment. "It would be more of a nature park."

Martinson said the park would provide habitat for plants and animals.

"Just a family area where parents or teachers could take children to view nature," Martinson said.

Martinson credits Mylo Candee of Bismarck for originally coming up with the park idea. Former Sen. Ron Carlyle (R-Bismarck) was also a proponent.

There’s no money in the budget bill right now to establish the park. Martinson said he’s hoping to add some money when the parks budget gets into a conference committee.

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