The Plan

The Design

In 2008, the City of Missoula hired DHM Design to complete recommendations and design documents, and in 2012 Missoula County did the same. This design, completed in Dec 2008 for the City and in 2012 for the County, addresses all historical mitigation and incorporates interpretation of the CCC era of our history as well as incorporating other important eras. The result will be a unique setting where history, culture, wellness, and sport all come together: Missoula’s Golden Gate Park.

DHM’s efforts took into consideration the entire 246 acre park boundary and surrounding areas but focused design documents on the City owned 83 acre section bounded on the north by South Ave, on the West by UM land, on the East by MCPS and veterans cemetery, and on the South by the Fort historic district in 2008. The focus in 2012 was on the redevelopment of the existing County park. The resulting design addresses the many needs as identified by Citizen surveys and the Master Parks and Recreation Plan. Design Plan highlights include:

  • • 9 multiuse recreation fields which can be used for any rectangular field sport including soccer, football, rugby, ultimate, and lacrosse.  The fields are designed to be easily rotated to minimize wear from sports with concentrated areas of wear.
    • A premiere all weather artificial turf soccer pitch, and a premiere rugby pitch, for a total of 11 rectangular fields.
    • 7 re-designed and re-located softball fields that meet regulations. These fields will be located within the existing 61 acre County ownedFortMissoulaPark.
  • 10k of trails for all ages and abilities that interconnect with existing trail systems. The trail design addresses both passive (walking) and active (running) needs and includes many historic and cultural interpretation points to honor the history of Fort Missoula.
    • An overall design theme that honors an important historical era of the Fort, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC era). DHM and the steering committee, in concert with several Fort Missoula historical groups, settled on a CCC theme for FMRP that preserves and enhances the historic nature of the site and neighborhood.
    • A large pavilion for hosting community events, picnic shelters, playgrounds, large open spaces, bocce and croquet, and much more.
    • Maintain natural vistas and views
    • Includes wildlife, riparian and open areas
    • Designed and accessible for all, regardless of age, socioeconomic, or other demographic.
    • Neighboring land ownership is also taken into consideration in the design and planning for the future.
    • Easy and safe access from South Ave, to FMRP and Historic Fort Missoula
    • Maintains alignment of Guardsman Lane









Phased Development

Development of the City owned portion of FMRP can be accomplished in phases, as funding becomes available. Development will begin with Area1. Each ensuing area can come on board in any order pending community and funding support and priorities.

  • Area1: Construction and engineering documents, utilities (including lowering a gas pipeline that runs north south through FMRP), 9 multiuse fields, some trails, some parking and a portion of the roads
  • Area2: The remainder of the roads and roundabout access fromSouth Avenue, additional parking, more trails, premiere rugby pitch.
  • Area3: Pavilions, restrooms, playgrounds
  • Area4: Additional parking.
  • Area5: Additional parking and warm up area.
  • Area6: Premiere soccer pitch using artificial turf and including lights.
  • Area7: Open space, remaining trails and historical markers.
  • Future phases will include:
    • Redevelopment of the existing county ownedFortMissoulaPark.
    • The land donated by JTL, now dba Knife River, to the south west of the 83 acres, including a pond for swimming and non-motorized boats (similar to Frenchtown pond) andBitterroot riveraccess.
    • Partnerships with neighboring land present many opportunities for synergy and continuity.

Conceptual plan for the 82 acres at Fort Missoula gifted to the City by JTL (now Knife River), effective Dec 31, 2012:





















Additional Resources
The City of Missoula’s web page on FMRP can be found here:

The DHM Design presentation on the process and design recommendations can be found here:

Documentation relating to the redevelopment of the existing Missoula County 60 acres can be found here: