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 are featured throughout this website in picture collages. For further information, many have provided links to their respective websites on our Member Links page.
The public was invited to enjoy free family activities, live music, sports, games and more during the Fort Missoula Regional Park Phase 2 Grand Opening Celebration that took place on Thursday, July 26.
The event ran from 6 to 10 p.m. and featured games, crafts, sports and other activities for all ages. City and county officials hosted a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Meadowlark Shelter at 6:30 p.m., followed by live music from local all-ages rock band The Salamanders from 7:30 – 9 p.m.
Other highlights of the celebration included the Mascot Parade around the park’s trail system at 7:15 p.m. and a multi-media rock show by local band Yip!Yeah! at 9 p.m. at The Commons. Throughout the evening, families toured the new park and playgrounds, played kickball and lawn games on the new softball diamonds, tried pickleball or tennis on the new courts or enjoyed many other activities.
The grand opening marked the completion of the $38 million Fort Missoula Regional Park, a joint city-county project funded by the $42 million Parks and Trails Bond that county voters approved in 2014. Phase 1 of the park opened in 2017.
“The completion of Fort Missoula Regional Park is the result of many years of dreaming, planning and hard work by many in the community,” said County Commissioner Jean Curtiss. “Not only is the park unique nationally because of its location in the midst of a historic district, it will also provide a beautiful place for residents and visitors to recreate for years to come.” FMRP is expected to draw between 24,000 to 60,000 visitors a year who will contribute between $1.4 million and $3.9 million to the local economy.
Park features completed during Phase 2 construction include the Meadowlark Shelter, a 1,500-square-foot timber and stone picnic/events shelter; Mac’s Playground, a fully-inclusive adaptive playground; seven softball diamonds, including five lighted fields; the Home Plate Grill full-service concession; The Greens picnic shelter and lawn games area; The Commons social recreation area, eight resurfaced tennis courts and 22 pickleball courts. The park also includes an outdoor fitness center with nine workout stations, basketball courts, lawn volleyball, a preschool playground inside the softball complex, historical interpretation, trails, restrooms and parking. The Sgt. Bozo Dog Park, also part of Phase 2 construction, will open later this year.
Residents were encouraged to walk or bike to the grand opening. The public was invited to join the Missoula Bike Ambassadors for a group ride via the Bitterroot Trail and South Reserve pedestrian bridge.
The park’s grand opening is sponsored by Jackson Contractor Group, Inc., Knife River Corporation, Musco Sports Lighting, OZ Architects, Axis Physical Therapy and Community Medical Center. Radio sponsors include U104.5 FM and The Trail 103.3 FM.
Partnering organizations for the event included Missoula County Parks, Trails and Open Lands; Missoula Parks and Recreation; Let’s Move Missoula, The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula; Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History; Clyde Coffee; Buffalo Wild Wings; Barnes and Noble; Coldstone Creamery; Painting With A Twist; REI; Kornutopia; Missoula Fencing Association; CASA of Missoula; Mismo Gymnastics; Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation; Muse Comics; Missoula Taekwondo; Big Sky ATA; Costco; USTA Tennis; Childbloom Guitar; Championship Training; Three Rivers Pediatric Dentistry; United Way of Missoula County; American Lung Association and the Missoula Public Library.
For more information, visit AtTheFort.org.
The City of Kalispell Parks & Recreation Department has been awarded two MAP 21- TA grants to fund the Highway 93 and Three Mile Drive bike/pedestrian paths.
The Highway 93 Path project is an extension and completion of the path constructed under the past CTEP program. Grant funding for this project is $530,000 to continue construction along the east side of U.S. 93 from Conway to Wyoming. The goal of this project is to provide a highly accessible, ADA bicycle and pedestrian friendly path, in a location adjacent to the highway that currently has heavy foot and bike traffic in a right of way, along a major busy artery. Additionally, completion of this path will physically and safely connect two existing trails (Meridian and Lawrence Park) and the Kalispell Downtown urban corridor to the growing north commercial district, Kalispell schools, parks, residential neighborhoods, the Kalispell Regional Medical Center and surrounding medical complex, Kalispell Youth Athletic Complex, and Flathead Valley Community College.
The Three Mile Drive Path will connect the existing Meridian trail to the proposed Bypass trail, Three Mile Drive residential subdivisions and the Kalispell Middle School. Grant funds awarded for this project is $272,500, with the City of Kalispell matching TA-Map 21 fun ds for a section of the trail not within the MDT right-of-way that runs perpendicular from Three Mile Drive north to the school. The primary purpose of this project is to provide a safe route to school, a dire need, in a location experiencing a tremendous amount of school children currently walking along the shoulder of busy Three Mile Drive to the Kalispell Middle School.
Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) announced that the Montana State Parks and Recreation Strategic Plan, Charting a New Tomorrow is now available.
Charting a New Tomorrow is a ground-breaking, business-minded management approach that will maximize the Division’s available resources, develop partnerships and build public engagement to create a bright future for outdoor recreation across Montana.
“This plan will strengthen the state’s park system and recreation programs,” said Chas Van Genderen. “Montana State Parks will lead the way for parks and recreation throughout the state.”
The Montana State Parks & Recreation Board tasked the Division with creating the strategic plan to serve as a guiding framework for management of the park system and state-wide recreation programs through 2020. The plan addresses budgetary and staffing shortfalls which have historically challenged the park system while focusing on strategic partnerships and engaged constituents.
“We want to provide residents and their guests with the best experience possible.” said Van Genderen.
Implementation of the strategic plan is underway and will continue to be Montana State Park’s focus for the next few months. The first stage involves conducting a facility condition assessment and establishing operational and staffing standards based on peer analysis with surrounding state park systems. Once the analysis is complete, the Division will begin the process of reallocating resources to the most significant sites in order to meet standards and improve visitor experiences at those parks.
Charting a New Tomorrow is the result of a year long process that included contributions from the Parks Division, legislative members, agency partners, user groups and other stakeholders through surveys, community listening sessions, and public review. The plan was approved by the Parks Board at their December 17, 2014 meeting.
To view Charting a New Tomorrow visit: http://stateparks.mt.gov/about-us/strategicPlan.html
For more information about Charting a New Tomorrow contact Maren Murphy at (406) 444-3364 or MarenMurphy@mt.gov.
Per the McCormick Park Master Park Plan adopted in 2003, this project replaced the park’s aging playground with a modern, accessible, inclusive playground that meets all applicable codes and is fun and engaging for all ages.
The new playground brings the latest inclusive play technology to Missoula—including play features for children with sensory, cognitive and multiple disabilities–and expands on the vision of the Bonner Park All-Children’s playground, which was built 25 years ago. The playground opened in August, 2014. The All-Abilities Playground Project continues to raise funds to expand the playground. Learn more at The Playground Project.
Morris and Helen Silver Family Foundation, Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, Appleseed Foundation, Missoula College of Technology, Bonner Property Development.
Colstrip Parks and Recreation District is converting the existing Rye Park wading pool into a spray park. They’re almost done with demolition, and are ready to move onto phase 3, actual construction, in July 2015.
Here is what the finished project should look like: