Parks in Gillette, WY
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeffrey S. Otto
Dan Barks says trees aren’t abundant in northeast Wyoming, but that isn’t the case at CAM-PLEX Park.
Barks, the general manager at CAM-PLEX, points out that the park sits on 140 scenic acres within the 1,100-acre CAM-PLEX Multi-Event Facilities site, and 20 of the park’s 140 acres have been specifically developed into a heavily treed area. That area also has pavilions with picnic tables and a large playground for residents to enjoy.
“CAM-PLEX Park was purposely planted in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s with a variety of trees that would grow well in northeast Wyoming," Barks says. "Today, people can visit and see what trees are doing well, in case they want to plant a particular kind of tree in their own backyard. The trees actually are not native to our state, having been planted decades ago by the University of Wyoming's agricultural extension operation. But the trees thrived and grow well in our climate and soil, so additional trees were planted in the mid-1980s to continue enlarging the CAM-PLEX site.”
While CAM-PLEX attracts many out-of-town visitors a favorite local activity at this massive complex is horseback riding. The Powder Basin English Riding Club leases 80 of site’s 1,100 acres. Barks says the riding club property is rough ground filled with hills and valleys, a good setting to ride horseback and jump over barriers at variable distances.
“Powder River is open to anyone who wants to join their organization, and the club hosts several competitions each year,” he says. “That organization accounts for quite a good amount of economic impact for the community. The club is one of the many fun recreational activities
available to residents here in Campbell County.”
BMX and Beautification
Parks are a quality-of-life amenity in Campbell County, and have many shapes, sizes and functions. Razor City BMX in Gillette accommodates enthusiasts of BMX, a street-bicycle motocross sport whose competitors race on an enclosed hilly, winding track.
Gillette is also home to a number of traditional parks. A seven-member Parks and Beautification Board oversees the city’s open spaces. It sets policies for 1 percent tax spending on park improvement projects, and updates policies and ordinances related to community landscaping, forestry and beautification.
Disc Golf and Fishing
The Campbell County Parks and Recreation Department is in charge of 21 neighborhood and community parks throughout the region. Some of those parks offer opportunities to enjoy disc golf, model airplane flying, equestrian activities or fishing.
“We also take care of facilities in Wright, including Wright Recreation Center, the baseball fields and places like the fire department, public safety building and the Wright branch of Campbell County Public Library,” says Mike McNutt, Campbell County Parks and Recreation Department superintendent. “Overall, the people of Campbell County appreciate their outdoor parks and activities. For example, we have a youth soccer program that has 700 participating children, and an adult softball program with 600 participants.”