If you use the parks and other recreational facilities in Billings you understand just how fortunate we are to live here. The Department of Parks, Recreation and Public Lands manages Billings’ entire parks and rec system which includes nearly 2,600 acres of parkland. This parkland, in turn, features:
- 1 batting cage facility
- 1 dog park
- 1 minor league baseball stadium
- 1 par-3 golf course
- 2 outdoor pools
- 2 wading pools
- 4 spray parks
- 6 neighborhood centers
- 19 tennis courts
- 29 basketball courts
- 29 park shelters
- 30 miles of paved multi-use trails
- 40 playgrounds
- 66 horseshoe pits
- More than 100 athletic fields
Then, there are the nearly 300 recreation programs for residents of Billings, from youth camps to adult sports and more.
As you can imagine, it takes the community’s help to keep things running smoothly and the list of volunteer opportunities is lengthy. While needs change over time, the Parks and Recreation Department most commonly needs help in the following areas:
- Park cleanup, including graffiti removal and participation in the annual Refresh the Rims program
- Painting – batting cages, shelters and more
- Construction skills – installation of concrete pads, AstroTurf and more
- Gardening skills – become a garden mentor, help apply fresh mulch around the parks’ trees, assist with garden creation, trail restoration and maintenance.
Two of the most popular volunteer programs are the Volunteer Park Ranger and Volunteer Bike Patrol. The former includes welcoming visitors to the parks and “serving as an extra set of eyes and ears for the Parks and Recreation Department.” This position requires that you commit to weekly visits to your assigned park or trail for one season. You’ll need to participate in an orientation session and a bit of training.
The Volunteer Bike Patrol program is ideal for Billings residents who regularly use the city’s trails. Your job will be to help keep the trails safe.
If you’re interested in any of the department’s volunteer opportunities, fill out the online application, here.
More money than time?
Help buy trees for Billings parks through the Memorial Tree program. Celebrate the life of a loved one, the birth of a new baby or a special life accomplishment by purchasing a plaque and a tree. You choose the park in which you want your tree planted, you choose the species of tree (bur oak, hackberry, blue spruce, honey locust, ponderosa pine or linden elm) and choose from among three plaque sizes.
This gift is tax deductible and you can learn more about the program on the parks and rec website.
The Billings Parks and Recreation Scholarship Program is our favorite. Your donation to the scholarship fund will help Billings’ youth, whose families are experiencing financial hardships, to gain access to the city’s recreational programs. And, 100 percent of all donations to the program actually go TO the program. It’s easy to participate in the scholarship fund by filling out the form at billingsparks.org.