Pitching in for parks and trails in Big Sky

By Jessie Wiese Big Sky Community Corporation

On June 7 the Big Sky Community Corp. will host National Trails Day work projects to help improve its trail system. The projects will be headquartered at the Big Sky Community Park, located off Little Coyote Road near the Meadow Village.

All projects are family-friendly and include finishing and repairing trails, refinishing tables and benches, and removing the winter’s accumulation of debris from the trails. BSCC welcomes participation in two-hour increments, or all morning. The two-hour times begin at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. Meet at the park and a coordinator will direct you to a project.

All participants should bring gloves, sunscreen, water bottles and appropriate footwear and clothing. Some tools are provided, but BSCC asks participants to bring shovels, rakes, or wheelbarrows if possible. After the work projects, a barbeque lunch will be provided at the pavilion.

The Big Sky Community Corporation has built, and manages, more than 16 miles of trails in the Big Sky community. Crail Ranch Trail, Ousel Falls Trail (from Town Center to the falls), Kircher Park, Big Sky Spur Road Trail, and the trails at the community park are all part of our system. These trails are integrated with historic sites, commercial and residential areas, parks and national forests serving the community and improving its overall character. This spring we are breaking ground on five new miles of trails, directly accessible from the community.

BSCC strives to include all aspects of the community in park and trails projects, and broad participation, collaborative partnerships, and ongoing monitoring and feedback have made the group successful.

Trails, greenways and parks create a sense of community; boost the economy through tourism and civic improvement; preserve and restore open space; help create a connection to nature; and provide opportunities for physical activity to improve fitness and mental health.
A well-planned and designed community trail system also helps Big Sky meet transportation needs, and tourists visiting our area sense immediately that this is a walkable, bike-friendly town.

Environmentally, trails preserve important natural landscapes, provide necessary links between fragmented habitats, and provide tremendous opportunities for protecting plant and animal species. Increased development has contributed to the creation of habitat islands – isolating wildlife, reducing their natural habitats and survival. Trails provide that important link between these island populations and habitats and increase available land to many wildlife species.

See you on the trails!

American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day is a nationally recognized trail awareness program that occurs annually on the first Saturday of June and inspires the public to discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in outdoor activities, clinics, and trail stewardship projects.