Exploring the Montana Audubon Center

Exploring the Montana Audubon Center - Bird in a tree branch
Matt Claiborne
Matt Claiborne
February 18, 2022

Montana is Big Sky Country and is home to a variety of birds and wildlife. Montana Audubon Center is focused on conserving the land for everyone to enjoy.

Visit the Montana Audubon Center

Montana Audubon Center

The Montana Audubon Center offers a variety of educational activities. Visitors can immerse themselves in a nature walk and watch for birdlife and wildlife along the trails. A natural play area invites kids to enjoy unstructured outdoor time.

In addition, guests can watch for birds in the unique bird garden. A visit to the Montana Audubon natural area will renew your appreciation for Montana's landscape and habitat.

The center features a year-round facility and extensive grounds. The center is next to the Yellowstone River and aims to sustain the Yellowstone River watershed's natural heritage.

The Montana Audubon facility features over a mile of trails, a kid's play area, a bird garden, and three ponds. The outdoor areas are open seven days a week from dawn to dusk.

The center offers educational programs to residents, including a naturalist course. In addition, the center has a preschool program and offers a summer camp program for kids.

History of Montana Audubon

Montana Audubon was founded in 1976 and focuses on appreciating and conserving Montana's native birds, wildlife, and natural ecosystems.

The Montana Audubon site started in 1998 as a gravel pit. Over the years, community volunteers have transformed the 54-acre site into a wildlife habitat. The site was leased to Montana Audubon as a partnership with the Yellowstone River Parks Association and Yellow Valley Audubon Society.

Community volunteers have planted over 65,000 trees and shrubs. In addition, the three ponds are used for scientific research and exploration.

Nature Trails

People walking on the hiking trail

The Montana Audubon site features five marked trails. Each trail is around half a mile long, but the trails can be combined into a longer loop. The trails take visitors around three ponds.

Areas of interest include an Osprey Nesting Platform, Canoe Ramp, and the Jean Smith Memorial Shelter. In addition, there are benches throughout the natural area where visitors can rest and enjoy quiet contemplation.

Shepard Nature Play Space

The Shepard Nature Play Space is an outdoor, ADA-accessible play space where kids can enjoy unstructured outdoor time in a safe space. The play area is made with natural elements such as water, sand, logs, hills, trees, and mud boulders. The components represent the natural environment and help kids connect to the natural world.

Helen Carlson Cummins Bird Garden

The bird garden was named after much-admired local birder Helen Carlson Cummins. The bird garden has different bird feeders that draw a variety of birds. This allows visitors to see birds up close.

The bird garden has displays that highlight the best bird-feeding equipment.

Family Programs

Kids watching birds at Montana Audubon

The center offers a variety of family programs throughout the year. Check the center's calendar and enjoy programs such as Nature Nuts, Weekend Wonders, and events such as the Owl Prowl. In addition, canoes are available and visitors love paddling on the center's ponds.

Enjoy Big Sky Country

Montana Audubon Center is the perfect place to connect with nature. Before heading out to enjoy Big Sky Country, fill up with the best breakfast places in Billings.

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