State tourism award a major accomplishment for “home grown” art park

Posted at 8:47 AM, Apr 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-19 10:49:20-04

LINCOLN – It started out as an idea to combine art with the timber legacy of the Upper Blackfoot Valley.

And when the “Blackfoot Pathways” park won a statewide tourism award this week it marked not only the fulfillment of that idea but a recognition of what’s been accomplished with not only talent but a lot of sweat and hard work.

The Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild park just east of Lincoln started to take shape four years ago this summer.

Centered around a recovered, and restored “teepee burner” left from a local mill, the park pays tribute to the Blackfoot’s logging heritage but collecting memories of the wood products legacy in installations designed by visiting world-class artists.

Centered around a recovered, and restored “teepee burner” left from a local mil. (MTN News photo)

Over the past few summers, the various, and fanciful, sculptures have taken shape, inviting passing travelers on Highway 200 to stop, stretch their legs and reflect.

This week “Blackfoot Pathways” was awarded the Heritage and Cultural Tourism Award, as part of the Montana Tourism Awards during a ceremony in Helena.

The awards are geared to acknowledge accomplishments of Montana’s communities to create new attractions and features that create increased interest in the state’s attractions.

Darby and Hamilton also won awards for “Film Communities of the Year” for their support of production for the TV series “Yellowstone”, which was filmed in the southern Bitterroot in 2017.