Billings is fortunate to have natural parks and trails to walk, hike, run and ride within a few minutes of many neighborhoods. Zimmerman Park is one such area packed with active users every day; and weekends in warm weather see a full parking lot and a myriad of activities there.
With a generous donation from Philips 66 Billings Refinery, Billings TrailNet facilitated the installation of some classy new restrooms at Zimmerman Park on August 30, 2018.
As one runner at Zimmerman Park was exiting the restroom shortly after it had been installed, she touted the restroom’s convenience and significance for the active community: “it will improve my running experience because in the past I have had to cut a run short to drive home and answer the call of nature,” she explained.
The restroom at Zimmerman Park opens opportunities for families, too. While parents can do their best to make sure their children are prepared for an outdoor adventure before leaving home, things don’t always work out as planned and urgencies cannot be denied.
While the restroom is now in place and usable, there are further features which will be added soon, including some simple landscaping and a privacy screen with the Phillips 66 logo and recognition of other organizations that helped make this project a reality.
A huge thanks goes out to our board member Jim Downs, who volunteered his time to coordinate the installation with all of the contractors; and brought his shovel and worked tirelessly for several days making sure the site was prepared and the ground was safe for restroom users.
James Kordonowy of A&E Architects and Engineers and Bruce Larsen from the Big Idea Company provided design and creative expertise in ordering a unique bathroom, which upon delivery, was generously discounted by Missoula Concrete.
Former board member, Stella Fong, came up with the idea to have a unique bathroom designed to reflect the generosity of Phillips 66, coordinated the designers and provided hours of volunteer time securing donations.
The restroom at Zimmerman Park begins a series of improvements between Zimmerman Park and Swords Park intended to make walking, running and bicycling in the area more enjoyable. Billings TrailNet is planning to build a trail to connect the two parks, which is currently referred to as the future Skyline Trail. This trail will also give residents in neighborhoods adjacent to Highway 3 easy access to the parks. Benches, also donated by Phillips 66, will be placed along the trail as rest stops and overlooks. Landscaping and interpretive signage will follow.
In addition to these amenities, the City of Billings would like to install designated parking areas along Highway 3, and Yellowstone County Parks would like to pave a parking lot at Zimmerman Park.
The trail is expected to cost approximately $3.5 million. Billings TrailNet’s giving campaign will begin at their major fundraiser, Ales for Trails, this Friday, Sept. 7, 2018.
Those who wish to donate to the project may call the Billings TrailNet office at 406-281-1244; or donate on our secure online form below: