Yellowstone River Parks Association

Recent Posts

New director has long history with state Audubon center

Sevier

In marketing itself to the outside world, Carolyn Sevier said, Billings is “closely wedded to landscape—the Rims, the river, the mountains, the prairies.”

She hopes that the Montana Audubon Center, which she was named to lead effective Jan. 1, will become widely known as the premier entity for helping connect people in this region with their natural surroundings. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: Volunteers, donors and a long legacy

Bridge

Twenty years ago, in the spring of 1996, I drove for more than 20 miles along the Yellowstone River in the passenger seat of Norm Schoenthal’s battered pickup truck. Schoenthal was then the greenway coordinator for the Yellowstone River Parks Association. I was working for the Billings Gazette, having recently gone back to reporting after working as an editor for seven years. (more…) Continue Reading →

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River group marks 25 years of success, seeks volunteers

Park

In September 1991, the Yellowstone River Parks Association began meeting every Wednesday above what was Gary Buchanan’s office in downtown Billings. Gary provided YRPA with weekly meeting space for the first 17 years, plus so much more. Early walk-in members included Norm Schoenthal, Don Wirth, Doug Habermann, Bruce Larsen, Gary Svee and Burt Williams. (more…) Continue Reading →

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New trails add to appeal of Four Dances Natural Area

Dogs

In the Billings area, there is nothing quite like the Four Dances Natural Area. Located high above the Yellowstone across the river from the site of old Coulson, the town that preceded Billings, the natural area affords spectacular views of the valley and of the city itself. (more…) Continue Reading →

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River group’s West End pond will be key trail connector

Pond

The Yellowstone River Parks Association is the proud owner of a new piece of property—a 12-acre pond in the middle of an 17.6-acre parcel of land just behind the giant Scheels store on Shiloh Road. Darryl Wilson, president of the YRPA, said the land was given to the group in December by developer Joel Long. Now a partner in Shiloh Crossing LLC, Long was the founder of the JTL Group, which was bought out in 1999 by Knife River, a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Creativity flows at meeting on future of power plant land

Ali

At a meeting called to envision future use of a 74-acre riverfront site that until recently held a coal-fired power plant, participants were encouraged to use their imaginations. That they did, coming up with activities and attractions for the old J.E. Corette plant site that included sport fields, an amphitheater, disc golf, picnic areas, a museum, restaurants, a brewery, high-density housing and a zip line to the site from the towering Sacrifice Cliffs across the Yellowstone River. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Audubon Center has new director

Lutz

The former director of the Michigan Audubon Society has been hired as the new director of the Montana Audubon Center in Billings. Jonathan Lutz, who headed the Michigan society for the past seven years, took over at the Montana Audubon Center on Dec. 1. He succeeded Darcie Howard, the longtime director who resigned last summer with plans to return to her East Coast roots. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Harvest Church volunteers give huge boost to river park

Trails

For nearly four years, volunteers with the Yellowstone River Parks Association, individually or occasionally in small groups, have been working to prepare a regional park a few miles northeast of Billings. This past weekend, their labors got an enormous boost from more than 500 volunteers in a project organized by Harvest Church. (more…) Continue Reading →

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One-of-a-kind play area opens Saturday at Audubon Center

Shepard

Darcie Howard, director of the Montana Audubon Center, was not impressed when she first heard about something called a “nature play space.”

The center’s mission is to get children out into nature, into the wild, so creating a manmade “natural area” didn’t seem like a very good idea. (more…) Continue Reading →

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PPL Montana puts coal plant property up for sale

Corette

A huge parcel of prime riverfront in Billings is being offered for sale, but there’s a hitch: the 74-acre property is currently occupied by PPL Montana’s coal-fired power plant. At least one party, the city of Billings, is already interested in the land, which sits between the Public Utilities Division’s water production plant, just upstream, and city-owned Coulson Park, just downstream of the power plant on the Yellowstone River. (more…) Continue Reading →

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