Facility Information | Montana Audubon


Facility Information


Our grounds and trails are open to the public from dawn to dusk every day, free of charge.

Download our Montana Audubon Center Trail Map

Please respect the following guidelines:

  • Ponds are open to the public for fishing (with a valid fishing license)
  • Bicycles are welcome on the trails
  • Dogs (other than service animals) are not allowed
  • Non-motorized travel only (except for service vehicles and on designated roads).
  • Large groups are asked to call ahead and/or check in with staff
  • No firearms or illicit substances allowed
  • While space is public, education programs occur on most days. Please be respectful of staff and participants at all times.

Shepard Nature Play Space

imag0675Open to the public from sunrise to sunset

The Montana Audubon Center is the proud home of Billings’ first public, ADA accessible Nature Play Space for the community. A Nature Play Space provides a space where children can play outside and connect with nature in a safe, unstructured manner. Nature play improves the physical and emotional health of children and complements important mental and social development stepping stones.

To bring back youth to nature, Nature Play areas are outdoor spaces designated for play that are made of natural components such as logs, water, sand, mud boulders, hills and trees. These components represent the larger wild environment in a way that feels safe and manageable by young visitors. A few man-made components are also carefully integrated to support creative play, encourage confident exploration and help children develop long-lasting affinity for the natural world.

The Nature Play Area was developed along with stakeholders and partners including local community members, parents, teachers, children, and funding partners. Major site work was done by Good Earth Works and our primary Center partner, the Yellowstone River Parks Association.

Thank you to our Play Space Sponsors!

Major Sponsor ($20,000-$10,000)

Nick Cladis, Phillips 66, and the Harry L. Willett Foundation

Trail Sponsors ($9,999-$5,000)

West Billings Rotary and Peaks to Plains

Event Sponsors ($4,999-$1,000)

Arrow Solutions, Billings Community Foundation, Bev Ross, Dr. Michelle Spenny, Good Earth Works, Lucky’s Market, Montana Dakota Utilities, and Stillwater Mining Company

Helen Carlson Cummins Bird Garden and Thoughtful Bird Feeding Station

Since its dedication in April 2018, “The Bird Garden” has become a keystone in our education programs. It is named in honor of Helen Carlson Cummins, a well-known and well-loved bird enthusiast in Billings. It is a place for all ages to observe and enjoy birds up close, and is the perfect overlay and complement to our native plant demonstration gardens adjacent the field lab. It is also a partner effort with Wild Birds Unlimited, Billings and Yellowstone Valley Audubon Society to highlight appropriate bird-feeding equipment and practices and encourage the joy of bird watching.

Our Bird Garden donation program helps us to maintain the bird seed supply and feeder maintenance through the year. Multiple support opportunities are available, and donations can also be made in honor of someone in your life who appreciates birds or backyard bird feeding. More info here!

Facility Rental

Our building and grounds are available for your next workshop, conference, or meeting. We offer a large classroom, small meeting room, and ample outdoor space that can accommodate a variety of groups and needs. Please call us to learn more: 406.294.5099

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