Operation Playground Build
Thanks to the success of the 2014 Parks and Trails Bond, Missoula will soon be home to 11 new or improved playgrounds. The $1 million project includes playground improvements for Bonner, Franklin, Greenough, McLeod, Northside, Pleasant View, Rainbow, Skyview, Wapikia, and Whitaker parks, plus phase two development of Silver Summit playground in McCormick Park.
February 2016 Playground Equipment Package Approved By City Council Proposed playground equipment by park - Check out the conceptual design pages—just click on any photo for a link to more information about each piece of equipment!
On Monday, February 22, the City Council approved 8 contracts with playground equipment vendors and installation specialists totaling $1,023,214.95. This represents over 130 individual pieces of playground equipment, plus installation and fall zone material, for 12 playgrounds. The playgrounds include Bonner, Franklin, Greenough, McLeod, Northside, Pleasant View, Rainbow, Skyview, Wapikia and Whitaker Parks, plus two of the four new playgrounds that planned for Fort Missoula Regional Park. Read the press release.
Equipment for the ten neighborhood playgrounds will be ordered immediately and installation will begin as soon as the weather allows for construction. Playgrounds are projected to open this summer. The new FMRP playgrounds will open when phase one construction is complete at the Fort.
The department hosted a public open house in June and circulated public comment questionnaires to help the department choose the play equipment for each new playground. The design team has implemented many of the ideas and suggestions generated by citizens, neighborhood leadership teams, and City Council representatives. Feb. 2016 Complete Playground equipment list with links
Construction has begun - October, 2015 Construction began in the Fall of 2015 on the new playgrounds. Site excavation and playground construction will occur in stages to minimize park disruption and maximize cost efficiencies with contractors. Each new playground site will undergo a three-step process: removal of existing play equipment as needed, excavation for the new playground area, and installation of playground equipment and fall zone material.
Contractors will being excavation in Skyview, Whitaker, Wapikia and Rainbow Parks this fall, and, pending Council approval, new playground equipment will be installed next spring. Existing playground demolition and excavation in the other six parks will continue throughout the winter as weather permits, with equipment installation scheduled for next summer.
The proposed playground designs and a project FAQ are posted at right.
According to Parks and Recreation director Donna Gaukler, the sites for Operation Playground Build were selected to ensure geographic disbursement throughout the city. “A priority goal for our community is to have a playground within 10 to 12 minutes walking distance from every child. Playgrounds provide one of the best opportunities for children to interact in creative self-directed, outdoor, active play—which is essential for healthy child development.”
Playground sites were also based on existing playground equipment, ADA access and neighborhood demographics.
Each playground design includes unique play features. “The goal is to have each playground different from the others and to select play equipment that meet the needs of the children living in each neighborhood. It’s been fun to see how the designers have integrated each park’s unique character into the design,” Gaukler said.
All of the playgrounds will be ADA-accessible and will include play features for all abilities. Additionally, at least one of the playgrounds at the new Fort Missoula Regional Park will include “wheelchair-friendly” surfacing, similar to Silver Summit Playground in McCormick Park.
Parks and Recreation is seeking to enhance Operation Playground Build's budget with matching grants, cooperative partnerships, impact fees and private donations. Private donations will be used to add play features and increase the play value of each playground.
To donate to Operation Playground Build, phone 721-PARK.