A Carousel for Missoula has announced plans to expand and refurbish the Dragon Hollow play area. Executive Director Theresa Cox says the original Dragon Hollow play area was completed in 2001 and is near the end of its expected life span.

“What is really exciting about it, is that we have received permission to expand the play area 15 feet to the west,” Cox said. “The expansion allows us to move the swing set out to the new area and that frees up some space inside. We will be able to put some things in there that are especially designed for kids with disabilities.”

The expansion includes adding a rubberized pathway to allow easier access by wheelchairs to existing play features. They will also add a cozy cocoon where children with autism can retreat from the crowd. According to Cox, the refurbishment and expansion will take place between May 15-19 and will require the support of thousands of volunteers.

“Overall, we are going to need about 2,300 volunteers,” Cox said. “When somebody shows up to volunteer, somebody will say are you skilled or unskilled? The basic question is can you use a circular saw? If you can use a circular saw, you are a skilled volunteer and they will take you to someone who will tell you what you need to do. If you can’t use a circular saw, they will find something else for you to do because there is plenty for everyone to do.”

Click here to learn more about donating or volunteering. Fundraising efforts have already begun, but they are still in need of about $100,000.