Residents throughout Missoula County will soon enjoy additional community center and outdoor recreation opportunities thanks to $46,000 in matching grants offered by Missoula County’s Parks, Trails and Open Lands Program.
Grant funding requests represent the importance of community activities and the priority of shared resources throughout Missoula County. The Seeley Lake Lions Club, stewards of Missoula County’s Clearwater Park that has amenities including a skating pond, walking path and a picnic pavilion, will receive $16,988 to put in a playground, new benches, picnic tables, plantings and other improvements.
The Potomac-Greenough Community Center will receive $10,365 to purchase a pre-K play structure for their playground. The remainder of the funds will be used for padding in the Potomac Greenough Community center gym, which is the primary recreation complex for the community.
In Lolo, Travelers’ Rest State Park will receive $8,500 to construct an accessible spur trail, which will link the Bitterroot Trail to the park grounds and will include permanent art installations along the trail.
Five other grants, which range from $1,300 to $2,700, will help fund maintenance projects to improve parks, trails and recreation areas through the Parks and Trails Matching Grants Program. They will help partner organizations fund the following projects in 2021:
- $1,369 to remove barbed-wire fencing and install new perimeter fencing at the Nine Mile Community Center (Nine Mile Community Center).
- $1,814 to help replace the roof on the picnic pavilion at the West Riverside Community Park (Friends of Two Rivers).
- $1,833 to help remove the volleyball court area and replace it with turf at Kelsey Park in Miller Creek (Upper Linda Vista HOA).
- $2,500 for site improvements, memorial plaques, a sheltered kiosk and a protective display at the Seeley Lake Veterans Memorial (Veterans and Families of Seeley Lake).
- $2,700 to expand and enhance the Seeley Lake Community Skating Rink by purchasing lights, lumber and a fire hose (Seeley Lake ROCKS).
“While our grant partners have certainly felt impacts from COVID-19, we are encouraged by the large amount of applications received this year,” Parks and Trails Coordinator John Stegmaier said. “All signs point to communities across the county recognizing the importance of their recreation facilities and a willingness to spearhead improvement projects.”
The Parks and Trails Matching Grant Program leverages partnerships with local nonprofits and community groups to maintain county parks and other public recreation areas. In these partnerships, the Parks, Trails and Open Lands Program provides planning assistance and funding, while the partner organization matches those funds through a combination of project expenses, in-kind donations and volunteer service hours.