Lee Springs Park opens in Helena, has historical remnants
By NATHAN HOWELL l Special to the Reporter
HELENA— Residents of Helena have a new park to bring their families to, meet up with friends or enjoy the beautiful outdoors as the Lee Springs Park officially opened in the Hillsboro community on Saturday, Nov. 21.
The park was part of a retail development project headed by US Steel that will add new retail opportunities in the community, which was approved in the mid 2000s but was delayed due to the economic recession at that time.
The park was named after Helena’s namesake Helen Lee, and will be an approximately $1.9 million investment in the city.
According to Helena Mayor Brian Puckett, the new park will be a great improvement for the city benefiting the children of Helena, those invested in the city’s history, outdoor lovers and those who use the trails for exercise.
“The playground area for kids is made to fit within the nature. They used a lot of materials that are natural looking,” Puckett explained. “There are informational signs throughout the park that tells history about the areas where the coke ovens are. The different types of materials that are out there like coal and stonework.”
Through the development plan for the development, US Steel also committed to improving the existing trails and adding new ones.
“The trails that are out there are included into it, and they have added more that take you down to the coke ovens,” Puckett said. “With the trails that they have built, it is a great area for people wanting to get exercise. You can have a nice quiet time in nature as well.”
US Steel and city leaders held a ribbon cutting to officially open the park on Nov. 21, and residents can now make use of it for recreation use.
At the regular city council meeting on Nov. 23, the deed was turned over to the city and officially became a city property and thus a city park.
“US Steel owned all of that property. So what they will do at the meeting is the council will pass the deed over and do the signing. They will deed all of the property over so it will become city property,” Puckett explained.
This park was created to provide a new space for Helena residents to unwind and relax, and with its completion and being transferred to the city, it is now a place for those who love the outdoors to enjoy.
“You’ve got kids entertainment, the history associated with the area, great nature scenes for you to be able to relax and take in, and then you’ve got the full trails for those looking to exercise,” Puckett said. “It is a great place for all of Helena residents to be able to go out and enjoy. Whether you are doing a picnic under the pavilion or your kids are running around blowing off steam, it is a great place.”