East Helena Community Planning Charrette

Location: East Helena, MT  |  Client: EPA Superfund Redevelopment Initiative and Region 8 |  Project Date: January 2011 – August 2011

Project Images

Links and Resources

Final Revitalization Plan

Project Description


The Asarco Smelter, in East Helena, Montana, historically functioned as the engine of the local economy. However, smelter operations also led to the contamination of the site and surrounding properties. In 2009, the city annexed Asarco’s former lands to allow for future growth and development. As site owners and government were pursuing cleanup activities, the local community needed to develop a future use vision for the annexed lands that could guide cleanup and local development efforts.


In coordination with local government and community stakeholders, Skeo Solutions designed and facilitated a community charrette to develop a vision and set of future land use concepts for revitalization in East Helena. The workshop engaged over 45 local stakeholders and resulted in a community-wide revitalization strategy focused on three priority strategies:

  1. Land Use and Development – future land use goals and preliminary development options for catalyst sites and areas positioned for new economic growth.
  2. Cultural Heritage – a conceptual plan for the reuse of the historic Asarco Plant Manager’s mansion and grounds as a heritage museum and event venue.
  3. Habitat and Recreation – a strategic plan to enhance trails and habitat along Prickly Pear Creek and link the creek corridor to a regional trail network connecting the communities of East Helena, Helena and Montana City.


The Mayor applauded the plan as an essential tool for guiding economic development, heritage tourism and recreational infrastructure planning.