2024 Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails Plan
2024 PROST Plan Project Overview
Missoula Parks and Recreation is collaborating with residents to draft a new master Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails (PROST) plan for the greater Missoula Valley.
This new, integrated plan will replace the 2004 Master Parks and Recreation Plan for the Greater Missoula Area and the 1995 Missoula Urban Area Open Space Plan with the 2006 Update. It will stand as a blueprint for the next 10-15 years of parks, trails, open space, and recreation services to residents. The City and County adopted the Open Space Chapter of the PROST Plan in 2019. See details below.
PROST Plan: What to expect
The updated PROST plan will be the City's guiding document for parks, recreation, open space, and trails planning for the next 10-15 years. The plan will:
- Inventory all assets, programs, services, and operations.
- Analyze gaps in the system, service level deficiencies and needs.
- Establish a vision, goals, and objectives.
- Determine when and where to add future assets, programs, and services.
- Create a list of implementation strategies.
- Develop an innovative plan document and online resources.
- Apply the City's strategic planning lenses of climate, equity, and housing.
- Serve as a model for future city planning processes and plans.
Residents will have ample opportunity to give input on the plan throughout the process.
PROST Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How can residents participate in the planning process?
Your participation is vital to creating a PROST plan that reflects our community's needs and values. Additional public participation opportunities will be shared on the Engage Missoula website starting in January 2024. This planning process will offer numerous opportunities for residents to get involved and share their priorities:
- Participate in focus groups or public workshops to shape plan recommendations. Your voice and lived experiences are critical to guide decision-making.
- Provide input through community-wide surveys. Widespread participation in surveys will help ensure the plan's directions align with community values and desires.
- Follow updates and give feedback on the project website. Ongoing online engagement allows you to review information and share thoughts easily.
- Attend public open houses to learn about the plan's progress and provide your perspective.
- Reach out to project staff anytime with questions, comments or suggestions. We want to hear from you.
This is our community's plan. Please lend your voice to help shape the future of Missoula's treasured parks, recreation, trails, and open spaces. Your participation makes all the difference in creating an inclusive, community-driven PROST Master Plan. We look forward to your involvement!
How long will the plan update take to complete?
The plan update process is anticipated to take approximately 18 to 24 months to complete.
How will the plan be implemented?
Toward the end of this planning process, the Project Management Team will create a toolbox of implementation strategies the City and its partners can use to execute the plan. This long-range plan will serve the City for approximately 10-15 years.
How does the plan interface with other City planning processes?
Parks and Recreation staff and the planning consultant team are working diligently to make sure this plan will integrate information from other similar and related planning processes and projects. Likewise, project staff will coordinate public engagement activities with those of other related processes and projects.
How will the plan address the three City strategic decision-making lenses of climate and resiliency, equity, and housing?
The Project Management Team will ensure that the three City strategic decision-making lenses of climate, equity, and housing are applied throughout the PROST planning process. The team will regularly consult with experts in related fields to ensure public engagement, inventory and analysis, proposed amenities and facilities, implementation strategies, and other associated elements align with the lenses.
What will the plan cost?
Costs for the primary consultant team will be up to $250,000 for the 18–24-month planning process, funded by Park District 1. In addition, Parks and Recreation has contracted with the University of Montana WA Franke College of Forestry and Conservation for public engagement leadership, assistance, and administration of a statistically representative survey.
Apply for the PROST Community Working Group by October 13!
Parks and Recreation invites residents to help shape the future of our community's parks, recreation, trails, and open spaces. The department seeks volunteers for a Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails (PROST) Master Plan Community Working Group. Residents of all backgrounds, interests, ages and abilities are encouraged to apply by October 13.
Members of this diverse 15-20-person working group will help guide the PROST planning process and provide valuable perspectives to inform the plan update over the next year.
The Working Group will meet approximately seven times via hybrid in-person/online meetings. Meetings will generally be Tuesday or Wednesday evenings and last approximately 3 hours. The first meeting is planned for November 14 or 15, 2023.
Meetings will occur once a month or every six weeks during the months of November 2023, January through March 2024, and September through November 2024. There will be no meetings during the Spring and Summer of 2024.
Each session will have required homework, such as interviewing others, site visits, reviewing documents, maps and plans, etc. There may be other project-related meetings that you may want to attend, such as public open houses.
Parks and Recreation may reimburse costs associated with participation, such as transportation, lost wages for missed work, meals and childcare, as helpful to those wishing to participate. Childcare may also be provided onsite.
2019 Open Space Plan Chapter of the PROST Plan
The Open Space Chapter of the PROST Plan was adopted by the City and County in 2019.
The plan builds upon the 1995 Open Space Plan and 2006 Update to guide the work of the City’s open space program and the County’s open lands program within the Open Space Planning Region
The Open Space Plan is intended to support and be consistent with the City and County’s adopted plans and guide open space acquisitions and easements. It may also help inform land-use planning decisions about natural resource functions and values but is not intended to be used as a regulatory instrument. The Plan may also be useful for promoting education, partnerships, and intergovernmental cooperation aimed at conservation and environmental quality.