Special Events on Open Space
Parks and Recreation to launch
Missoula Parks and Recreation is launching a pilot program later this year to evaluate the impacts of educational programs, fun runs, celebrations and other special events on City open space. The department invites citizens to learn more about the pilot program and comment below. Conclusions from the pilot program will be used to finalize the department's open space special events permit.
The City receives dozens of requests each year to permit special events on Mount Sentinel, Mount Jumbo, and other open space lands. When the Conservation Lands Management Plan was adopted in 2010, citizens asked Parks and Recreation to consider allowing limited special events on select open space areas with restrictions in place to minimize
"This pilot program is a direct response to citizen feedback," says Conservation Lands Manager Morgan Valliant. "During the CLM plan public process, folks told us
The new policy allows only four large (50-500 participants) events on all City open space per year. Fun runs or other competitive events are limited to primitive roads or developed trails at least 60 inches wide. Special events are prohibited in sensitive or environmentally fragile areas like the Mount Jumbo Backbone Trail and the North Hills Ridge Trail, or any single-track trail segment. No more than two large events will be permitted annually on
To test the new policy, Valliant has asked Run Wild Missoula (RWM) to design a fun run for the pilot program. The running club has submitted a permit to host a run on Mount Jumbo's North Loop in
Valliant says special events on open space could be beneficial. "Special events expose more citizens to our conservation lands and give us an opportunity to educate large numbers of users about responsible recreation practices. Managing special events for positive educational and financial gains with minimal impacts to resources is at the core of our special event policy." Fees collected from special events will be used for conservation land management. The new policy will also ensure the department is notified of smaller events like classes, educational tours
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Like all City boards and commissions, the Conservation Lands Advisory Committee (CLAC) and Parks and Recreation Board meetings are open to the public and have a public comment period. Find board meeting minutes and agendas.
CLAC meets up to eight times per year, September through April, and will meet next on February 3, 2014, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Currents Aquatics Center. The Parks and Recreation Board meets on the second Tuesday of each month, at 12 p.m., at Currents Aquatics Center, 600 Cregg Lane. Sign up to receive the Boards and Commissions calendar via email or text.