On Monday night, the Missoula City Council approved the spending of $1.02 million for the purchase and installation of over 130 pieces of new playground equipment for 12 playgrounds throughout the city.

Parks and Recreation Director Donna Gauckler said the funds came from the recent passage of the Parks and Trails bond.

"Nine are existing playgrounds that for the most part will be completely replaced, and in three cases we're actually moving the playground to a better more accessible location," Gauckler said. "The playground industry has advanced significantly, with lots of different shapes, like two parallel tubes or they might look like a long tongue, all kinds of things.Certainly there are still swings, in fact there's a new swing coming out to Fort Missoula where a parent or an older sibling can actually swing face to face with a little toddler."

Gauckler said construction is already underway.

"The construction will be completed in tiers," she said. "We've already started excavation of a few of the neighborhood sites. They were halted when the weather froze the ground, but they will be back out as early as next week if this weather holds. Then, once all the infrastructure is in place, the playground equipment will be installed hopefully starting in mid to late May, through June and into mid July. Then, any remaining projects including Fort Missoula will continue on through the summer with Fort Missoula being completed sometime in late September or early October."

The $42 million county-wide Parks and Trails Bond was approved by voters in 2014.

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