The Roundup -

Richland Park Is The Place To Be For A Variety Of Summer Time Fun

 

The new playground equipment is the most recent upgrade for Richland Park, which has seen several improvements over the last 10 years. Photo by Megan Dotson

Richland Park has been a long-standing fixture of Richland County, and has seen plenty of changes over the years. Richland County native and current resident Kelvin Buxbaum has fond memories of the park and its popularity when he was growing up.

"There were always picnics being put on by local business and the Moose Lodge, sometimes with hundreds of people in the park," remembers Buxbaum. "When I started working for the county, I took Richland Park under my wing."

Just this summer, the park received new playground equipment including monkey bars, swings, a climbing rock, and a 64' Zip Cruise, suggested by Buxbaum's daughter Janelle Williams. The Zip Cruise is the first in the county and popular and appropriate for all ages; plans for the equipment began last fall when Buxbaum approached County Commissioners about park improvements. Richland County, Pheasants Forever, and Walleyes Unlimited have all been instrumental in the park's restoration over the last 10 years.

Richland Park, which is located on County Road 128, 2 miles east of MT State Highway 200, began seeing changes in 2006 when a boat ramp and access road went in, new outhouses were built, and Walleyes Unlimited funded a perimeter fence. Over the next year, it was cleared of over-grown and dead trees, and since then, approximately 200 trees have been strategically planted. A Leadership Class donated the 'Richland Park' rock at the entrance/exit of the park and in 2008, the foundation of the old cook-shack was reused to build the picnic shelter.

Both the picnic shelter and the 8 primitive campsites have handicapped accessible picnic tables, and located at the east end of the shelter is a wood-fired BBQ and smoker, custom welded by Public Works employees. The BBQ and smoker can feed 50 – 100 people and is free and open to the public, as long as they clean up after themselves. Anyone looking to use the BBQ or the fire pits located with the campsites must bring their own firewood.

The 64' Zip Cruise is a popular attraction for Richland Park, and the only one of it's kind in Richland County. Photo by Megan Dotson

Current County Commissioner Shane Gorder built the park's informational kiosks when he worked for Public Works and Ethan Graves recently installed a Disc Golf Course at the park as his Eagle Scout Project. There is a mile-long nature trail, as well as fishing access, and over-night camping is allowed with a 72-hour permit which can be obtained at the Law and Justice Center.

The next potential park projects include an irrigation system and electricity, however, even without these amenities, the current improved state of the park offers something for everyone at every age.

"Rather than complain about the state it was in, I thought I'd just get the ball rolling and others got involved. I haven't done any of this alone; the Sportsman Clubs, county dirt crew and bridge crew have been an incredible help," commented Buxbaum.

Whether looking for a place to host an outdoor event, get out on the water, out in nature, or just get a little way out of town, take a day to go and play at Richland Park.

 

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