BNSF Helps Dedicate new Public River Access in Whitefish, Montana

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BNSF Helps Dedicate new Public River Access in Whitefish, Montana

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Representatives from BNSF Railway, Whitefish and Montana Lt. Governor John Walsh (center) cut the ribbon to commemorate the completion of the Whitefish River cleanup project and dedication of a new public river access landing.

Friday, August 2, 2013 - 1:00pm

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BNSF Railway, Montana Lieutenant Governor John Walsh and the City of Whitefish recently recognized the completion of the Whitefish River cleanup project with a public ceremony and dedication of a new public river access.  

 “Public access to our pristine rivers and natural lands is a value all Montanans share. The park is also great for the community’s economy with its direct access to the city center,” said Lt. Governor Walsh. “I want to recognize the support of BNSF Railway, the City of Whitefish and everyone who worked to help clean up the Whitefish River.”

Whitefish Landing will be a new public park and non-motorized river access point.  It is made possible by a $25,000 grant from the BNSF Railway Foundation. The location of the landing and park also allows direct access to the pedestrian pathway that leads to the city center.

 “This generous donation by BNSF exemplifies the company’s commitment to making Whitefish a better place and being good stewards of the environment,” said Mayor John Muhlfeld.  “This long-term lease, and access to the river, will provide new opportunities for the public to recreate and enjoy one of the most treasured assets we have in our town.” 

The event coincided with the completion of a five-year project to remove contaminated sediment from the Whitefish River and also the Mackinaw Bay cleanup on Whitefish Lake. Cleanup work began in 2009 and was completed in late June of 2013.  In coordination with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, BNSF removed more than 26,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment and backfilled it with rock.  More than 1.5 miles of the Whitefish River have been remediated.  Re-vegetation work will continue for the next several months, with much of the planting to occur during favorable conditions in the fall.  

Keywords: Environment | BNSF | Economy | Montana | Positive Change | Railroad | city improvements | clean up project | community | csr | public river access

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