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Parks effort seeks volunteersPosted at 4:50 p.m. May 29
Northwestern Energy workers Chuck Dixon, right, and John Finn attach a set of field lights to a new pole at the McCormick Park softball fields Wednesday. The old pole was removed after developing rot from the field's water sprinklers. While routine maintenance is underway for this year's summer season, the Missoula Parks and Recreation Department is seeking a committee to develop a 20-year master plan for improving the city's parks. ROB CHANEY/Missoulian

As Missoulians start planning what to do for fun in the parks this summer, a small group is needed to push that thinking a little further.

The city's Parks and Recreation Department is building a citizen advisory committee to take a 20-year look at Missoula's recreation resources and propose improvements. The plan will affect all 50 developed parks in the city plus recreation areas in a three-mile radius surrounding the city.

The committee will research the existing condition of playgrounds, trails and all the other city facilities, with an eye to seeing what needs repair, replacement or improvement. It will also hunt for available land to expand the parks system. And it will explore ways to fund those improvements and additions.

Applications to join the advisory committee are due June 10. People can also submit their suggestions or ideas to the Parks and Recreation Department directly. The committee will need both general citizens and people with technical expertise in parks-related development.

To apply, call the Parks and Recreation Department at 721-7275 or view the application materials on-line here.

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