BILLINGS, MONTANA (December 9, 2021) – Pete Philippi, Store Leader of Billings Scheels and Leslie Jochems, Marketing and Event Lead for Billings Scheels presents Big Sky Economic Development with an award of $100,000 toward a matching grant of $250,000 from the Natural Resource Damage Program for the initial development of Coulson Park.  Pete Philippi said, “Scheels is excited to be a community leader in supporting the fundraising efforts to develop Coulson Park.  The park is the ideal recreational asset and an economic driver for our community.  Coulson connects Billings residents and tourists to the beautiful Yellowstone River and the vast history of the river valley and the original townsite of Coulson.”  We encourage our business community to join us in contributing to development of Coulson Park and creating a first-class recreational area.”


Big Sky Economic Development and the City of Billings are jointly seeking local contributions to match the $250,000 grant award received from the Natural Resource Damage Program.  “The immediate goal is to reach the $250,000 match,” states Steve Arveschoug, BSED Executive Director.  “But our job as a community  isn’t finished at $250K, we as a community, businesses and individuals, need to contribute to this effort to fully buildout the  park and create a strategic placemaking asset for Billings, Yellowstone County and the region.”


Big Sky Economic Development is committed to assisting the City with fundraising for Coulson Park and encourages the City, Parks and Recreation, and the community to support park development through grants, contributions, and parks district funding. One of the top triggers that inspire relocation for individuals is to have a better quality of life. Maintenance and development of parks and trails is critical to Yellowstone County, to continue to be a place people want to be, grow, and play.


To secure the matching grant, $68,500 still needs to be secured. With the balance of the $250K raised locally, we will have over $500,000 to start Phase I work.

To see the full Master Plan and contribute to Coulson Park, visit or  or contact Dianne Lehm, Community Development Director at Big Sky Economic Development or Mike Pigg at Billings Parks and Recreation for more information.

Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.

The NRD funds are settlement funds paid to the State to reimburse it for the damages to the State’s natural resources from the release of hazardous substances. These are State funds and not tax dollars.  For more information, the recreation project priority plan can be found here: