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The Montana Trails, Recreation and Park Association is comprised of professionals in the parks & recreation field dedicated to improving your quality of life! Members of the organization are affiliated with local, county, state and federal agencies and businesses.

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Important Conference Updates

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS The MTRPA continues to work hard at keeping our communities and members safe. Given the current climate of COVID-19 and the Delta variant, our president, Mitch Overton, called an emergency board meeting to discuss the MTRPA State Conference in Great Falls. EMERGENCY BOARD MEETING SUMMARY The MTRPA Board met Friday 9/3/21 at 2pm via Zoom to discuss either more »

Certified Playground Safety Inspector Course

Certified Playground Safety Inspector Course October 12-14, 2021 Bismarck, North Dakota Montana parks and recreation professionals are invited to register for the Oct. 12-14 Certified Playground Safety Inspector Course in Bismarck, North Dakota! Experts will review the latest developments in playground safety and participants will have the opportunity to become a certified playground safety inspector. Learn how to reduce more »

Call for Presenters

The Montana Trails Recreation & Park Association Annual Conference will be held October 3-5, 2021 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center Great Falls, MT. Our theme is “Reconnection through Recreation – Purpose and Resilience in Parks and Recreation.” The conference committee is working hard on session framework to address current topics and opportunities. We are seeking thought provoking speakers more »

2021 Annual Conference Registration

City of Great Falls Park and Recreation is excited to host the MTRPA annual conference October 3rd – 5th at Holiday Inn Great Falls Convention Center! The conference committee has been hard at work to provide members, students, retirees and associates a first-class conference that will provide valuable educational sessions and social events. Registration is OPEN Early Bird Pricing more »

P&R 2021 Final Legislative Report

6/2/2021 Final Legislative Report – Parks & Recreation   The 67th session of the Montana Legislature adjourned April 29.  We delayed this Final Report until final action by the Governor’s office on bills that passed.  I must also admit that I took a two-week vacation after the session to regroup, spend time with family, and enjoy life! Please find more »

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking applicants for three citizen advisory boards

FWP SEEKS CITIZEN ADVISORY MEMBERS FOR RECREATIONAL GRANT PROGRAMS Source: May 4, 2021 12:00 AM HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking applicants for three citizen advisory boards: State Trails Advisory Committee, Snowmobile Advisory Committee and the Off-Highway Advisory Committee. FWP advisory boards are tasked with advising FWP on the allocation of grant funds annually for FWP-managed more »

Critical Legislative Update

⚠️ Critical Legislative Update ⚠️ Budget negotiations are underway in Helena this coming week that will determine whether a promising new funding source is invested in Montana's outdoor spaces, or not. In November, Montana voters passed ballot initiative 190 which directed new revenue generated by the sale of recreational marijuana to expand public access, maintain state parks, and protect more »

How To Work with Legislature in 2021

There is a lot going on in this legislative session already! Keep updated with by visiting our Legislative Updates page under Resources. Below is a message from our advisory board member, Bob Walker about how to get involved. How you can work with Legislature Recently several have requested information about working with our legislature.  Following find information about the more »

2021 MTRPA Annual Conference

Save the dates for our 2021 MTRPA Annual Conference October 3rd, 4th, & 5th in Great Falls, MT! We are very optimistic that we will be able to have an in person conference at that time and we can’t wait to gather together again.  However, we will also plan to offer a way to join virtually for those who cannot more »

Mid-Year Meeting 10 a.m. Tuesday 10/6

Remote Mid-Year Member Meeting Access Join us on-line for our Mid-Year Member Meeting Tuesday 10/6 at 10 a.m. Our Membership Chair, Chris Waite, will be providing on-line meeting access via Zoom. (You don’t need to download the Zoom Meeting App, you can select the option to join using your browser only.) The on-line meeting invitation is below: Christopher Waite more »

Montana State Parks sees steady visitation for the first six months of 2020

Recreation News from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Wednesday, September 16, 2020 Montana State Parks recorded 1.4 million visitors from January through June of this year. Compared with same time period last year, visitation increased by 25.4 percent.  While visitation increased at nearly 80 percent of state parks across Montana, there were several parks that experienced a drop-in visitation more »

Great American Outdoors Act & INVEST in America Act

Our Trail Representative, Bob Walker, took it upon himself write two letters to Congressman Gianforte requesting his support of the Great American Outdoors Act and the Invest In America Act on behalf of our Montana Trails Recreation and Park Association. Great American Outdoors Act "The Montana Trails, Recreation and Parks Association requests your support of the bipartisan Great American more »

COVID-19 Resources

Parks and Recreations During COVID-19 Outbreak The MTRPA is sending out a big THANK YOU to our state, federal, and local Montana parks and recreation departments and agencies for quickly adapting and acting to keep our public healthy and mentally sane during the COVID-19 outbreak! While we are still dealing with this outbreak, departments across the state are working hard more »


MTRPA Conference Cancelled The 2020 MTRPA Conference April 19th - 22nd in Butte, Montana is cancelled. Due to the global outbreak of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus, Governor Bullock and the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department instituted measures limiting social gatherings to combat the spread of the virus. At this time, the annual MTRPA Conference has been cancelled. Refunds will be issued to all paid attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, more »

Early Bird Conference Pricing EXTENSION

SAVINGS ON MTRPA CONFERENCE TIL 3/15! We are extending Early Bird Pricing through March 15th! Pricing will increase $50 for full registrations, one day passes, and exhibitor's booths on 3/16. This is Montana's parks and recreation event of the year! Our conference schedule is packed with session tracks in aquatics, trails & open space, arborist, maintenance, grants, and so more »

1920s Park History

As we move into the 2020s let’s take a look back at the Roaring 1920s and celebrate our park history.  If you have a park or other facility that was developed in and around the 1920s and have some pictures we would love to share the information at our Roaring 2020s themed conference.  Please send high resolution pictures or more »

Upcoming Conference Sessions

We are gearing up for our Roaring 2020s conference in Butte, Montana April 19 - 22! DOWNLOAD SCHEDULE PDF or review below:   MTRPA 2020 Conference Schedule (DRAFT) Roaring 2020s: Planting our Planet with Inclusive Communities through Parks and Recreation Copper King Clarion Hotel & Convention Center Butte, Montana April 19-22, 2020 Sunday, April 19 Topic - Description Speaker more »

Playground Maintenance Technician Training - Helena, MT - March 4-5, 2020

There are a few spots left! The Eppley Institute is hosting a playground maintenance training in Helena, MT March 4th & 5th and there is still time to sign up! This is a training focused on personnel who are responsible for maintaining playgrounds. GO TO:  Share with any park and recreation agency contacts you have.   Helena, MT – more »

Call for Presenters Still Open

The MTRPA 2020 Conference committee is still taking submissions for presentations, sessions, & workshops. Deadline March 1st. DOWNLOAD CONFERENCE PRESENTATION PROPOSAL FORM The Montana Trails Recreation & Park Association Annual Conference will be held April 19 – 22, 2020, at the Copper King Hotel Butte, MT. The conference theme is “Roaring 2020s: Planting our Planet with Inclusive Communities through more »

Early Bird Conference Registration!

MTRPA CONFERENCE 2020 Roaring 2020s: Planting our Planet with Inclusive Communities through Parks and Recreation April 19 - 22 Copper King Hotel & Convention Center Butte, MT   The MTRPA is excited to announce our Conference Registration is live and EARLY BIRD PRICING is here! Early Bird Pricing ENDS 3/1/2020 Butte-Silver Bow Parks and Recreation is excited to host the MTRPA annual more »

2020 - 2024 SCORP Release

SCORP The 2020-2024 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) identified six high-level goals and recommendations: – Promote outdoor recreation opportunities for all Montanans – Enhance public access to outdoor recreation resources and facilities – Support the economic vitality of communities and the state – Improve quality of life through outdoor recreation experiences – Adapt outdoor recreation for a changing more »

2019 Award Nominations Open

MTRPA, an affiliate of the National Recreation & Park Association, presents awards annually to recognize individuals, organizations and agencies for significant contributions to the parks and recreation profession. Awards will be presented at MTRPA’s annual conference in Butte, MT the week of April 19-21, 2020. NOMINATION PROCESS: All nominations must be from a current MTRPA member. To make a nomination more »

Save the dates! MTRPA Annual Conference 4/19 - 4/22/2020

MTRPA Annual Conference 2020 2020 is around the corner and we are gearing up for our Annual MTRPA Conference! This session was open to all members to get ideas and organized for our upcoming spring conference. We are excited to see you in Butte for MTRPA Conference 2020 at the Copper King Hotel & Convention Center April 19 – 22! Look out for more »


RECAP: MTRPA at MLTC When our Secretary/Treasurer, Maria Butts, attended her first Montana League of Cities and Towns in 2016 with municipal employees and officials from all over Montana, she thought "Why isn't Parks & Recreation here?" That thought was reinforced when her co-MTRPA board members asked the same question during an MTRPA mid-year meeting.  From there a seed was more »

Flathead Avalanche Center Kicks Off Season with Northern Rockies Snow and Avalanche Workshop

November 16th from 9:30am to 4:00pm at the O'Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish, Montana. Click Avalanche Center Workshop for more more »

MTRPA Meetings and Sessions Announced at MLCT

MTRPA invites Parks and Recreation professionals to attend this year’s MLCT Conference in Billings, MT October 2-4, 2019 in Parlor 1031 for the following: Wednesday 10/2 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Parks and Recreation Directors Meeting Wednesday 10/2 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. MTRPA Executive Board Meeting Wednesday 10/2 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. MTRPA Mid-Year Member Meeting (open to all) Thursday 10/3 more »

Register Now! MLCT 2019

Join us October 2 - 4, 2019 at Montana League of Cities and Towns Conference MTRPA invites Parks and Recreation professionals to attend this year’s MLCT Conference in Billings, MT. Attend MTRPA’s Membership Meeting to stay up-to-date on Parks and Recreation in your state. More meetings and sessions to be announced. This event brings together more than 400 municipal more »

Sign up for our E-Newsletter

Stay up to date with MTRPA! We are excited to announce that we are bringing updates about Montana Trails, Recreation, & Park Association right to your inbox. Sign up for updates straight to your inbox! more »


Need more money? Who doesn't? Please find information below about a grant program to fund multiple use trails.  This is from the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy. Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund | Rails-to-Trails Conservancy RTC launched the Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund in 2015 to support organizations and local governments that are implementing projects to build and improve rail-trails. more »

State Charts: The Economic Impact of Local & Regional Parks

NRPA just released findings of the economic impact of parks for each state for 2013. Take a look to see where Montana ranks for Jobs created by State for 2013 and Economic Impact by State. For more stats and charts, visit the NRPA more »

A Smart Investment for America's Health

It's no secret that access to parks, trails and green space improve the quality of life for people. Parks have shown to be a great investment for communities. According to a study conducted by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have chronic health conditions such as heart disease, more »

Designed to Move: Active Cities

A new study has been published that links active cities to better communities. What is an active city? An active city depends on how active its citizens are. This in depth study shows why being an active city is so important not only to the overall health of citizens (we all know that being active leads to a healthier lifestyle), more »

Request for Proposals: Exploratory Scenario Planning Grant

Request for Proposals: Exploratory Scenario Planning Grant Interested in using exploratory scenario planning to assist in a planning or community decision-making process? Apply today!   Western Lands and Communities (WLC), a joint program between the Sonoran Institute and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, is seeking communities interested in using exploratory scenario planning to assist in a planning or more »

LWCF Grants Available

Montana State Parks ( announced today that federal Land & Water Conservation Fund Program (LWCF) grants will be available for local, public and outdoor recreation projects in Montana. Applications are due by Friday, February 7, 2014.  Cities, counties, school districts, conservation districts, Indian Nations and similar entities are eligible to apply. Typical facilities funded in the past include ball fields, more »

Montana State Parks SCORP Public Comment

Montana State Parks ( announced today that public comment is being sought on the draft Montana Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). The plan provides strategic recommendations to help maintain outdoor recreation as a priority in Montana because it benefits the quality of life for Montanans, and helps sustain economic vitality of our communities. This plan, titled Creating a Vibrant more »

Governor Signs Bill

Governor Steve Bullock signed HB24 creating a state Parks and Recreation Board on April 29, 2013 at the Pictograph Caves State Park interpretive center.   The bill provides powers, duties, and rule making authority to the Board to oversee state parks, primitive parks, state recreational areas, public camping grounds, state historic sites, state monuments, and other heritage and recreational resources. more »