Helena Parks and Recreation Fall & Winter Guide 2022 - 2023

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Helena Parks & Recreation Guide 2022 - 2023 Fall & Winter

Memorial Park Ice Skating Rink

Guide Contents Director’s Letter .................................... 2 Helena’s Open Lands and Trails ........... 3 Sasquatch Photo Essay ......................... 5 Sasquatch Social Media Contest ........ 7 Identifying Animal Tracks ..................... 9 Parks and Urban Forestry ................... 11 Map of Helena’s Parks ......................... 13 Memorial Park Ice Rink ........................ 15 Themes Days and Free Events ........... 17 Civic Center ............................................ 19 Cross Country Skiing ............................ 21 Muni’s Sports Grille .............................. 23 Contact Us .............................................. 25 1

Director’s Letter Hello Helena, I am excited to begin living in and working for the city of Helena as the new Parks, Recreation and Open Lands Director. I learned by visiting Helena that it is a special city with great outdoor activity opportunities and has a positive community feel. The opportunity and challenges that lie ahead are incredible, and I am eager to begin diving in. The trek was made to Helena from Greenbelt, Maryland where I was the Facility Director for the Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). During my time with the M-NCPPC since 2018, I directed the opening of a $27 million dollar new-build ice arena. Prior to working for M-NCPPC I oversaw the Parks and Recreation Department of Marquette, MI. I graduated from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. I was also a member of Ferris State’s Division I hockey team. For over ten years I have traveled to Montana to ski various mountains and resorts. I have been enamored by the state for many, many years. To have the opportunity to be a part of the community, work for the city, maintain and improve our parks systems, all while serving the citizens in the capital of the state of Montana is a dream come true. I look forward to serving you and this wonderful community. Doug Smith, City of Helena Director of Parks, Recreation and Open Lands


Helena’s Open Lands and Trails


This summer saw a fire event on Mount Helena. The Parks Department is working to restore the fire damaged landscape between the 1906 & Ambrose Trails by cutting and piling burnt trees. This should prevent any potential future hazards and clean up the landscape. Thank you for the rapid responses by City Fire, Volunteer Fire, State Fire and Forest Service Fire. Helena’s open lands hold precious scenic, cultural and recreational values. Open lands are a spectacular backdrop for our town and provide citizens with access to a variety of recreational opportunities. The City of Helena currently owns and manages over 1,950

H acres of undeveloped parkland, including the popular Mount Helena City Park and several other trail locations. Check out Helena’s newest trail, located on Mount Helena. The Ambrose Trail is approximately one-half mile in length, is 7ft wide and gains approximately 160 feet of elevation over its length. The trail has carve-outs with benches along the route. The Ambrose Trail ends in a beautiful vista. The trail is perfect for walking sideby-side with a friend, families with strollers or anyone looking for a less intense walk on open lands. Enjoy cross country skiing or fat tire bike riding here during the winter months!


Sasquatch Essays

Let me introduce myself. I’m Sasquatch and I’m always out roaming the trails around Helena. Helena’s open lands have miles and miles of trails easily accessible from town! And there is a lady in the Parks Department who lets me borrow her iPhone for my photos. I’ll be sharing my hot takes on local trails weekly on social media. Here’s a walk I did in autumn of 2021 to give you a taste. If you’d like to see this year’s photo essays, follow Helena Parks and Recreation on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo 1: MAP - Starting at the Mount Helena Trail Head, we make our way up the 1906 trail and then veer off to the right skirting along the edge of the mountain.

Photo 2: Do you enjoy the changing colors of fall? Of course you do, you’re a red-blooded Helenan after all. I spent the week just off Prairie Trail overlooking Helena, watching the leaves turn yellow. The bench here is the perfect place to take in the autumnal sights and enjoy an autumnal treat. Maybe a hot beverage, or a pumpkin spiced bunt cake – Of course if you’re like me, you’d prefer just an entire raw pumpkin. Check out the next photo to see how the view has changed in one week.


Photo 3: * Chef’s Kiss *

Photo 4: Tree Trimming - I got to see some tree trimming that was taking place. Dead branches that no longer serve the trees were being removed. It’s a good reminder that trees need care and management, just like our city’s other assets like streets and buildings. This is also what the forest floor looks like after I get a trim.

Photo 5: Shrouded in darkness, AKA - in my element. The trail begins to wind up Mount Helena through this dense thicket of trees. And honestly, I’m here for it. I love winding through the many trunks, hidden from sight, mysterious, just a shadow out of the corner of your eye…

Photo 6: Backside views - This trail gives a fresh perspective to a mountain I’m mostly on the other side of. Just because you seldom see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. I would know.

Photo 8: Helena’s Best View - The Parks Department looks absolutely stunning from here. Thanks for exploring with me. I hope to see you out there – Let the search begin!

Photo 7: My Wildflower Rating Adorability Factor: Are you kidding me? These look like tiny daisies – 10/10 easy. Wildflower or flowering weed?: It is safe to assume these are wildflowers…right? - 8/10 Flavor: Sour…dry… it’s quite good. – 9/10 (Disclaimer: If you are a human, you should not eat flowers. I’m a literal Sasquatch and omnivore so it’s totally cool if I do.)


Sasquatch Hunt

Helena’s Open Lands

Trail Every Week. He Moves to A New

Photo Contest

Winners Are Announced Weekly


Tag Us at: If You Find Him @HelenaParksRecreation

Join the Hunt! Join the Fun!


Identifying Animal Tracks

Rabbit Tracks

Deer Tracks

Coyote Tracks


Fox Tracks

On Helena’s Open Lands

Squirrel Tracks

Mountain Lion Tracks

Elk Tracks Black Bear Tracks 10

City Parks

Helena has 30 parks that include playground equipment, tennis courts, basketball courts, community events, bike and pedestrian trails, dog parks, skate parks and bike jumps. All of our parks and trails are beautifully maintained by Parks Maintenance staff and our Urban Forestry Division. These features are designed and developed so that people of all ages, abilities and incomes can participate in the excellent recreational activities this wonderful city has to offer.

Helena’s Urban Forestry Division Helena’s Urban Forest Division is responsible for the care of over 10,000 trees located in the city’s street rights of way, public parks and other city-owned properties. During tree cleanup after a storm, please stay away from damaged trees. There is an elevated risk for tree failure, especially during strong winds. Please refer to the grid on the next page to determine the proper steps to take when dealing with an urban forestry concern. You can also visit the Parks and Recreation tab of the city’s website for more information. 11


Refer To:


Tree emergency, fallen tree or branch blocking the street or sidewalk.

HPD for immediate 911 response to secure the area. HPD will call HP&R for removal.

Witnessing malicious tree damage or removal. Street tree trimming, planting and removal.

HPD while in 911 progress. HPD will call HP&R. Helena Parks and 406-447Recreation 8426 Urban Forestry.

Tree donations.

Helena Parks and Recreation Urban Forestry.


Park tree needing maintenance.

Helena Parks and Recreation Urban Forestry. Roadway Code Enforcement.


Roadway Code Enforcement. Northwestern Energy.

406-4478443 1-888-4672663

Tree located on private property protruding into street or sidewalk. Sidewalk lifting from tree roots. Tree interfering with high voltage lines. Tree located on private property protruding onto adjacent private property.


Civil matter Not the city’s jurisdiction. 12

City of Helena Parks 1

Mountain View Park


Janet Park


Nob Hill Park


Selma Held Park


Red Letter Park


Lincoln Park


Beattie Park


6th Ward Garden Park


Robinson Park

10 Lockey Park 11 Skelton Park 12 Cherry Park 13 Nature Park 14 Memorial Park 15 Crystal Springs Park

17 Bill Robert’s Golf Course 18 Batch Park 19 Centennial Park 20 Kay McKenna Park 21 Hill Park 22 Women’s Park 23 Firetower Park 24 Pioneer Park 25 Dale Harris Park 26 Northwest Park 27 Barney Park 28 Waukesha Park 29 Cunningham Park 30 Reber Park 31 Mount Helena Park

16 JC Park

City of Helena - Playgrounds 1

Mountain View Park


Selma Held Park


6th Ward Garden Park

10 Lockey Park 11 Skelton Park 12 Cherry Park 14 Memorial Park

16 JC Park 18 Batch Park 19 Centennial Park 26 Northwest Park 27 Barney Park 28 Waukesha Park 29 Cunningham Park

City of Helena - Dog Parks 1 13

Mountain View Park

19 Centennial Park




3 4 5

7 8

6 12







13 17




22 20 21



26 28


29 31 30


Frontier Fun Town

The Memorial Park Ice Rink is a cozy place to rent skates, enjoy hot chocolate and glide the ice under twinkling lights. Call the ice-line: 406-443-8774 or check Facebook for current conditions.

Parks With Free Ice Rinks: 1800 N Roberts St. Lincoln Cunningham 1234 Floweree St. 1950 Cleveland St. Barney These free ice rinks are free to use, in public parks and unattended. They do not have staff, concessions or skate rentals. Rinks are open from dawn to dusk. Please avoid the ice while it is freezing.

Memorial Park Holiday Tree 15

Memorial Park Ice Skating Rink

Memorial Ice Rink Entrance Fee Resident Discount Rate: Ages 0-3: FREE

Child & Senior: $2.00

Adult: $2.50

Non-Resident Ice Rink Rates:

Ages 0-3: FREE

Child & Senior: $3.00

Adult: $3.50

Skate Rentals are Free! Dates are weather dependent: Mid December - February Extended hours over Helena School District winter break. Closed Christmas Day & Open MLK Day. Visit our website at www.Helenamt.gov/Recreation or our Facebook Page for updated information.

Hours are Weather Dependent: Wednesday 4 PM - 8 PM Thursday 4 PM - 8 PM Friday 4 PM - 8 PM Saturday 11 AM - 8 PM Sunday 12 PM - 6 PM


Ice Rink Events December

-Join us Opening Day - 12/23, 11am - 8pm -Free hot chocolate on Christmas Eve -Extended hours for Christmas Break: 12/23 - 1/02, 11am-8pm

January -Start the New Year with us! 01/01 & 01/02, 11am - 8pm -Neon Night - Free Glowsticks! 1/7, 4pm-8pm -Disney’s Frozen Themed Skate, extended hours 1/20, 11am-8pm


Learn to Curl events are free to the public and hosted by Last Chance Curling Club and Helena Parks and Recreation. Spaces in the classes are limited, participants must sign up online at helenamt.gov/recreation. Dates and times will be announced on social media.

February -Free Learn to Curl Events -90’s Themed Skate Party 02/03, 4pm-8pm -Valentines Day - Free Hot Chocolate -Open Memorial Day - 2/20, 11am-8pm -Donate to Skate - Closing Weekend

More events to be announced. Follow Memorial Park Ice Rink on Facebook or on Instagram @HelenaParksRecreation for exact dates and times. 18

Coming Soon to your Civic Center 10/28 - Cirque Mechanics: Zephyr 11/5 - Annual Christmas Show 11/9 - Postmodern Jukebox 11/12 - Annual Christmas Gift Show 11/25 & 11/26 - Nutcracker On The Rocks 11/30 - 12/4 - Festival of Trees 12/9 - Clint Black’s “Mostly Hits & The Mrs. Tour” 12/17 & 12/18 - Premiere Dance Company’s The Nutcracker 2/21 - Tommy Emmanuel, CGP


How to Buy Tickets

ONLINE: You may buy tickets online any time or day through our online Box Office. Tickets that are purchased more than four days before an event will be mailed to patrons. Tickets that are purchased within five days of the event will be held at will call. We encourage all patrons with will call tickets to pick their tickets up prior to the event to avoid long lines. BY PHONE: You may purchase tickets by phone during regular business hours by calling 406-447-8481. Tickets that are purchased more than four days before an event will be mailed to patrons. Tickets that are purchased within five days of the event will be held at will call. We encourage all patrons with will call tickets to pick their tickets up prior to the event to avoid long lines. IN PERSON: If you wish to buy tickets in person, you can come to the Civic Center Box Office during the hours of 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. The Box Office is located in the vestibule inside the main entrance, located on the south side of the building.


Cross Country Skiing Bill Roberts Golf Course

The Last Chance Nordic Ski Club, in partnership with the Helena’s Parks and Recreation Department, grooms approximately four kilometers of skate and classic track on the perimeter of the golf course. The route of the groomed tracks are well maintained and loop together across the rolling terrain. Skiing is free, and all skiers are welcome! Parking for the golf course is located at 2201 North Benton Avenue. After your ski, stop in at Muni’s to relax, enjoy a beverage and a bite to eat. If you are snowshoeing, walking your dog or on foot, please avoid the groomed ski tracks as well as the golf course’s tees and greens. For guidelines and a track map visit: www.LCNSC.org 21

Decorating Trees on Open Lands

Pack it in Pack it out



Biodegradable is Better


Mother Nature Does it Best ENJOY THEM AS THEY ARE



POPCORN & CRANBERRIES (with water soluble thread)









Where to Find Us Parks and Recreation Main Office: 406-447-8463 www.HelenaMT.Gov/Parks We are located at the City County Building Room 405. We encourage the use of email and phone correspondence for facility and park pavilion reservations, program registration and general questions and comments about our department.

Where to Find Us

Where to Follow Us


Instagram.com/HelenaParksRecreation 25

Contact Us Division


Administration Parks, Recreation & Open Lands Director

Contact Doug Smith

Administration Administrative Heather Assistant Kahler Aquatics and Recreation

Aquatics and Recreation Program Manager

Kait Perrodin

Bill Roberts Golf Course

Golf Course Maintenance

Steven Link

Bill Roberts Golf Course

Golf Operations Manager

Tod Fitterer

Civic Center

General Manager

Byron Dike

Muni’s Sports Grille

Food and Beverage Manager

Kelsey Carter

Open Lands

Open Lands Manager










Craig Superintendent Marr

Parks Operations & Maintenance

Parks Supervisor

Pat Marron

Urban Forestry

ISA Certified Arborist

Chris Daily






4064478382 4064471603




Parks Operations & Maintenance









Have a general parks question or inquiry? Email us at: CITYPARKS@HELENAMT.GOV


What’s Happening In Helena