Ice ribbon, upgrades included in new Missoula parks plan

MISSOULA - Missoula Parks and Recreation has unveiled the new North Riverside Parks & Trails plan and is seeking public comment from May 13-27.

The plan was designed by Dover, Kohl & Partner's Jason King. The design concepts focus on Downtown parks and trails located on the north side of the Clark Fork River from Russell Street to Missoula College. 

The plan focused on five major goals; improving gateways and circulation, updating materials, elements and landscaping including plantings and art, improving views and access points to the Clark Fork River, supporting existing uses and design, and designing parks for everyone and for all seasons.

“During the Downtown Master Planning process, we heard immense enthusiasm for parks and trails, so we have designed concepts we think will meet future needs,” said Donna Gaukler, Director of Missoula Parks & Recreation. “Now is the time to voice priorities for these valued parks, trails, as well as the Clark Fork River through Downtown.”

In the plan, Brennan's wave would be redesigned to feature more walking trails and better access to the Clark Fork River. They also want to increase accessibility on the path near the river and widen it to allow more people to enjoy the area at once.

If you're a fan of ice skating, the plan also includes adding an ice ribbon near the carousel at Caras Park that would be similar to the ice ribbon in Spokane, Wash. Ice ribbons are more laid back and focus on leisurely fun ice skating. The ice ribbon would also be a year round facility that would turn into an area for walking or rollerblading in the summer. 

The plan also includes upgrading the Caras Park pavilion to make it more modern and allow for more people to easily congregate in the area and host all kinds of events. Teams are also focusing on upgrading parking and entrances to the parks downtown.

"These parks are the heart of Missoula's downtown and I think it's really important that we put an emphasis on them and treat them the way they should be treated," said Nathan McLeod, Missoula Parks and Rec.

To offer public comment you can head to this website

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