BCBSMT helps bring play back to Billings park

BCBSMT builds playgroundPlay now begins at Trails End Park.

We recently joined forces with KaBOOM!, Billings Parks and Recreation, Billings Kiwanis Club and many others from the Magic City to rejuvenate dilapidated Trails End Park with a new playground, and boy was it fun.

In six sunny hours on Saturday, Aug. 29, more than 170 volunteers assembled slides, swings, climbing structures, picnic tables, benches, a sandbox, a shade structure and a new sign; mixed and poured cement; and moved and raked level towering piles of mulch to provide a safe playing surface. Volunteers also worked with children to paint decorative tops for picnic tables that added even more life to a lively and magical event.

Build Captains

“Children are the foundation of our future,” said John Doran, director of public relations at BCBSMT. “And playing on a playground is fun. Anything we can do to help our children build healthier lifestyles, and have fun at the same time, only helps them grow up to be healthy adults who enjoy active lifestyles.

“Billings was the perfect partner and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to roll up our sleeves with the community to rebuild Trails End Park.”

Each year, BCBSMT, in partnership with KaBOOM!, helps build one playground in Montana. Last year, we completed our first build at East Helena’s Main Street Park. Not only did we provide volunteers and sweat equity to the Billings build, but BCBSMT also contributed $85,000 toward the project’s total cost of $100,000.

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Like KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, we believe in the benefits of play. The Billings project was part of an ongoing effort to improve the health and wellness of Montana’s greatest resource – its children.

“The playground, along with the new amenities, has revitalized Trails End Park,” said Billings Parks and Recreation Volunteer Coordinator Chris Waite. “It has been such a joy to see the neighborhood come out and re-discover this community space.

BCBSMT crewSeniors can now be seen taking a stroll and enjoying the new benches. Children have been excited to test out the new play equipment. One of the biggest benefits to this project is the community involvement. Many of the neighbors who were a part of the project feel a sense of pride and ownership over this playground.”

KaBOOM! playground builds, which are part of our Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative, are just one way we continue to serve the state of Montana.

How do you help YOUR community? Tell us about it in the comments!