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Parks and Recreation

Posted on: October 2, 2019

Residents invited to share ideas for downtown parks and trails via online survey

The Downtown Missoula Partnership and Parks and Recreation invite residents to share their vision for the future of Missoula’s riverfront parks and trails via an online public opinion survey through October 25.  The survey is part of the larger Missoula's Downtown Master Plan, a 10-year, forward-thinking strategy for Downtown Missoula. The 2019 Downtown Master Plan lays the groundwork for residents, the City and Downtown stakeholders to create detailed master plans for the ribbon of parks and trails on the north shore of the Clark Fork River, from California Street to Missoula College. 

Parks and Recreation and the Downtown Partnership held two public park design workshops last month to gather residents’ input on master plans for downtown parks and trails. Those who were unable to attend the workshops may now view the information presented and answer a short opinion survey online at

Downtown stakeholders are eager to involve the community in park planning, says Downtown Missoula Partnership Executive Director Linda McCarthy. “Missoulians are vested in the river corridor, and we need community input on how to improve the ribbon of parks and trails on the north side of the river. What are the needs and desires of our community residents for active and relevant uses of these incredible assets? We need to know!”

The master park plans will consider expansion, improvements, amenities, green infrastructure and connectivity of the north riverfront parks and trails including West Broadway Island Park, Downtown Lions Park, Caras Park, East Caras Park, Bess Reed Park, Kiwanis Park and Ron’s River Trail. Consultants will also provide cost projections and phasing for Caras, East Caras, and Bess Reed Parks. 

Strategic planning is essential to effective park development, says Parks and Recreation Director Donna Gaukler.  “Master park plans provide the necessary foundation to apply for grants, raise funds, and engage community partners to implement our community’s shared vision for parks and trails,” Gaukler says.  “Public participation is a critical part of the planning process. We’re interested in residents’ ideas for accommodating population growth, increased downtown tourism and increasing demands on the park and trail system. The master park plans will ensure that future improvements to downtown parks and trails will reflect residents’ goals and values.”

For more information on the Downtown Master Plan or to take the survey, visit

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