In Hamilton's parks, you can easily walk into a forest grove, with the Bitterroot River flowing alongside, and lots of birds, deer and even a moose or two showing up around the bend.

So, it makes sense that the new Parks and Urban Forestry Director has a Forestry degree and has been in the U.S. forest Service for about 20 years. She is Amy Fox, who joined the city staff this summer, after being a forester, first in New Mexico and most recently on the Bitterroot National Forest. Fox will be overseeing the city's nine parks.

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Parks Director Amy Fox at Steve Powell Park. (City of Hamilton Photo)

For the size of Hamilton, there is quite a lot of park land - about 240 acres including the most recent addition - Skalkaho Bend. That park, on the south end of town, is along the Bitterroot River and adjoins the original River Park, extending to Kiwanis Park by Haynes Field. North of Main Street, the riverside parks continue with Steve Powell Park, which ends at Adirondac Avenue. North of that is the large Heironymus Park, next to the Bitterroot River Inn. There's also the American Legion Park on South Second Street across from City Hall, Claudia Driscoll Park by the Hamilton Justice Center, the Dog Park, on New York Avenue by the Public Works Department and the Riverview Cemetery on the West Side.

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In a news release, Fox said, "Our town is blessed with lots of great trees and I'm excited to expand my knowledge of how to maintain the ones we have and plan for what we need in the future." She is going to keep in touch with the public. "When I visit our parks, I see how much they are valued by the community...After I have time to orient myself to the immediate needs, I am very interested in working with the community to get their ideas on what they would like to see happening (or not) in our parks and ways to partner with local groups and businesses to make those things happen." Amy's office is at the Public Works Department and her phone is 406-363-6717.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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