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City Parks

The City of Three Forks is home to seven parks, covering just over 9-acres. These parks offer a wide variety of recreational and outdoor opportunities. All are easily accessible via foot traffic along city streets, or you can walk or ride a bike along the Headwaters Trial System to access the furthest parks.

“Parks” are defined in the simplest term we could: a park, playground, recreational facility, pond areas, or any other area in the city, developed or undeveloped, owned or used by the city, and devoted to active or passive recreation.

The City maintains the public parks by irrigating, mowing, trimming trees and bushes, spraying for weeds and insects in both the trees and grass, and replacing trees and playground equipment as needed. This costs the taxpayers an average of $40,000 each year. To protect the citizens’ investment in parks the City established a fee to reserve some of the park assets.

Most parks have latrine-style outhouse facilities. A description of each park and the equipment they have to offer is below:

Helton-Peterson Park

Located on West Adams Street, between Colorado and Dakota Streets, this half-block of land was purchased in 1970. In 1971 Gene and Lois Crowe asked the City Council to turn this land into a city park. At that time the City was split in wards with two representatives serving each ward. Edna Helton and Ben Peterson were both Council members of Ward 3. Mrs. Helton made the motion, seconded by Mr. Peterson, to dedicate the land as a city park.

After the City dedicated the land, Cub Scout Troop #680 hand seeded the half block of land with grass seed as its community service project. They also planted the trees in the center of the park. Then the Madison Valley 4H group helped to plant trees on the west boulevard. Unfortunately, the trees on the boulevard all died. In 1997 a generous citizen sponsored a park sign explaining the history of the park, and in 2015 these kind people sponsored the addition of a flower bed. In 2017, one of the trees on the boulevard was replaced and dedicated to the memory of Shandra Logerstedt as well. This park continues to be beautified through the many donations of citizens.

This park offers a full size basketball court, playground equipment (complete with merry-go-round) and numerous picnic tables. The rest is a large grass area to play soccer or football as a family, or even an organized group’s practice.

No reservation required, this park is first-come, first-served.

Bertagnolli Park

Tom Bertagnolli was the fifth of seven children born to the Bertagnolli family here in Three Forks. For many years Tom was a volunteer Little League baseball coach helping to teach children the game he loved to play.

This 1-acre city park, which is the only one to have a baseball diamond, had only ever been referred to as the “baseball park.” Tom, who worked in Trident, Montana for what was then the Ideal Cement Company, was critically injured on the job. Then-Mayor Townsend proposed to the Council to officially name the park and baseball field “Tom Bertagnolli Park and Fields” in his memory and to honor his dedication for coaching so many Little Leagues over the years.

This park also have various playground equipment including slides, swings and a see-saw, as well as basketball court.

No reservation required, this park is first-come, first-served.

Stevenson Park

Nobel R. “Steve” Stevenson came to Three Forks as the athletic coach and social science instructor in 1936. In 1940 he was elected superintendent of the Three Forks Schools. He served in this capacity until his death in 1944.

Stevenson Park offers a covered gazebo, complete with electrical hookups and enough picnic tables to seat 50 comfortably. This space can be reserved through the reservation process below. You can also request the use of our gas grill barbecue for an additional fee.

The park offers playground equipment with swing sets and a new curly slide. This park also has a basketball court, a sand volleyball court and lots of grass to practice organized sports or just play a family football game. This park is where the Progress Rebekah Lodge #74 hosts its annual Easter Egg Hunt too!

A wading pool resides within the park is open in the summer months for children to cool off. It is open Monday through Friday, typically July through late August, from 1PM-5PM.

Stevenson Park also has a tennis court which may be reserved. Originally built by Mr. McAllister, a teacher at Three Forks School, this was a cement court. The City minimally maintained the court for many years. In 2016, Marcia Anderson, an avid tennis player and teacher who wishes to share the game of tennis with anyone who wants to play or learn, had the cement tennis court removed and a professional-grade court built in its place. Fencing, new rubberized court, nets and benches were all replaced with the generous donation of Ms. Anderson. What used to be referred to as “McAllister Courts” is now called the “Marcia Anderson Tennis Court”. The City now resurfaces the court annually.

The entire park is utilized by the Three Forks Youth Recreation Task Force from June to August as a Summer Rec program.

Reservations are required for each area of the park - please plan accordingly.

Sacajawea Park

This was the first city-dedicated park that we can find history on. October 2, 1914, the citizens gathered around the land to unveil the bronze plaque to memorialize Sacajawea.

donated statue?

memorial wall $ used for …?

No reservation required, this park is first-come, first-served.

John Q. Adams Milwaukee Park

Named for the founder of the City of Three Forks, this park houses the old Trident Depot building. The Three Forks Historical Society saved the depot when Montana Rail Link dissolved the old Trident station. It was an original icon in the former town (which is now all gone) which was more like what we would call a neighborhood today, but was in fact a town filled with people, most of whom were employed by the Ideal Cement Company.

This park offers a large grassy area, shaded with spruce trees, picnic benches and is home to the Three Forks Chamber of Commerce’s welcoming caboose. This park also plays host to the summer Farmer’s Market. The Historical Society has relaid train tracks within the park to give the user a real sense of the history of Three Forks as a railroad town.

The Depot houses more of the Historical Society’s museum artifacts.

Reservation is required for events like the Farmer’s Market - please plan accordingly.

Veteran’s Park

The land for this park used to be a gravel storage site for road maintenance. Volunteers from Three Forks and Trident took it over by cleaning up the site, asking Ideal Cement to donate the concrete for curbing and began cultivating the land to form a park. In 1947 those volunteers stamped a corner stone essentially, and unofficially, creating the park.

This park was dedicated at the time after members of the Three Forks community had served and died in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. In 1970, a plaque with all the names of veterans lost between 1918 and 1968 were individually listed and memorialized on the large placard.

Today, this park also serves to memorialize our veterans lost in more recent wars, as well as to honor those who have been able to return home to us. It stands to remind us of our freedom, the cost of that freedom, and the sacrifice of our brothers and sisters who serve our country.

In 2016, the Veteran of Foreign Wars Post #7621 installed six flagpoles to fly the flags all branches of our military (Army, Navy, Marine Corp, Coast Guard and Air Force), as well as the USA flag with POW-MIA flat flying below it. These are kept lit at night and serve to honor all those servicemen and women who sacrifice their time, and lives, for us.

The annual Headwaters Trail Race starts at this park the third Saturday of July.

No reservation required, this park is first-come, first-served.

Bellach Park & Three Forks Ponds

Edward Bellach, Jr. was a resident of Three Forks his whole life. His parents had built a number of buildings throughout town and the family all raised the next generation here in Three Forks. Mr. Bellach was a volunteer firefighter for many years and was incremental in establishing the Fire Department Relief Association Fund (a pension for volunteer firefighters).

On a wintry day in 1997, one will never know what Bellach saw when driving past the ponds. His pickup truck door was left open, as though in a hurry. His tracks across the ice covered pond led towards where Jim Schwietering had fallen through. He had told a friend he was going to walk his dog, and had been known to gather golf balls off the ice in winters past. It in unknown whether Bellach dove in to save Jim, or fell through the ice. His truck was found with the driver’s door still wide open. Neither men survived. Schwietering’s Australian shepard was still sitting on the banks of the pond.

In 1999, the Bellach family offered the gift of a fire truck playground equipment to be placed at the Three Forks Ponds park area in memory of Ed Bellach. The City requested of Fish, Wildlife & Parks to rename the park area to Bellach Memorial Park. The park was dedicated in 2000.

Soon to come! The Headwaters Kiwanis recently donated $8,500 towards playground equipment improvements at this park. The City plans to add the improvements in spring of 2019.

No reservation required, this park is first-come, first-served.


reservations

All parks are dedicated for public use. A reservation is not required to hold a birthday party, family reunion or other event. However, if one wishes to have the sole use of the gazebo in Stevenson Park for example, a reservation must first be granted by the Mayor.

Parks are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The City Council adopted Ordinance #382-2018 on 9/11/2018 to create Title 8, Section 6: Parks.

This ordinance seeks to impose reasonable time, place and conduct controls in an appropriate and limited manner upon events and facility uses for which reservations are required.

Application, along with the applicable fee, must be submitted to City Hall for review by the Mayor prior to being granted sole use.

Questions? Please call 285-3431.

 

Pictures credited to Three Forks Historical Society, Wayne Walker, Laura Brewer…