Missoula Parks and Recreation invites citizens to learn more about and comment on proposed improvements at over 10 city playgrounds.

The project, dubbed “Operation Playground Build” by Parks and Recreation, is part of the $42 million Parks and Trails Bond approved by voters last year. Missoula Parks and Recreation Director Donna Gaukler said the bond allocated $1 million to spend on over 10 different playgrounds around Missoula.

"They're spread out all over the community and the spending priorities revolve primarily around safety, access and code compliance," Gaukler said. "We're trying to make sure that every child in the Missoula area is within 10 to 12 walking minutes to a playground."

Gaukler said safety if the number one issue, followed by a concept called 'play value'.

"Many of the playgrounds we're replacing are old-school, with swings and a slide, but these new playgrounds will have much more variety. They have undergone immense research and will be able to handle creative and interactive play that is physically active. So, all those old playgrounds will go away, along with the sand fall-zone surfaces. These will be replaced with new playground equipment along with code-compliant fall-zone material that meets Americans With Disabilities Act regulations and has better absorption rates in order to prevent serious i njuries should a child fall."

The $1 million Operation Playground Build includes playground improvements at Bonner,Franklin, Greenough, McLeod, Northside, Pleasant View, Rainbow, Skyview, Wapikia, and Whitaker parks, plus phase two development of Silver Summit playground in McCormickPark.

Gaukler said each of the new playground will be slightly oversized to allow for future growth and additions.