“The Nine Mile Community Center understands that stewardship means more than just attending to the grounds but also the care and stewardship of the community,” said Parks and Trails Board member Sue Stanley, who nominated the 9MCC for the award.
The 9MCC plays an important role, not only in providing a developed public recreation and events venue for the Nine Mile Valley, but for the entire County. The buildings and grounds have long served as a venue for community events, as well as a destination for quiet recreation. More recently, the Nine Mile Community Center has become a popular venue for weddings and reunions.
The efforts of multiple generations of volunteer stewards have resulted in the preservation of two historic buildings — a schoolhouse built in 1915 and a church built in the 1930s — and the recent installation of an outdoor pavilion. The selection of quality materials consistent with an early 20th century style are evident in all the improvements completed on the site over the past 70 years.
“The community center is a focal point of the Nine Mile Valley,” said Sharon Sweeney, president of the Nine Mile Community Center Board of Directors. “There are 100 years of stories, laughter and tears in these walls, 100 years of residents coming together for a common cause and to ‘neighbor’ together. In short, this lovely old school house, country church and new pavilion provide a place for people to gather. As we move into our second 100 years, I am confident that the community will continue to steward this great place with the same energy and passion of those who came before us.”
While some revenue is generated through rentals, much of the funding required to maintain the 9MCC comes via donations from residents of the Nine Mile Valley and grant programs. The Missoula County Parks and Trails Board Matching Grant Program has provided several grants to the 9MCC, recognizing volunteer labor and in-kind donations as a match for County funds.
Additional information on the Nine Mile Community Center can be found at https://www.ninemilecommunitycenter.com.