Downtown Missoula is officially one of the greatest places in America!

The Heart of Missoula neighborhood was named one of five great neighborhoods by the American Planning Association, a national organization of planners and consultants. The article credits the Art Park as one of the contributions that put Downtown Missoula on the map. Read all about it!

Watch the community-wide speeches given at the Opening Dedication on April 21, 2017, thanks to the Missoula Current.

Read about the dedication and opening exhibition ceremony for BY THE BIKE, thanks to the Missoulian, April 22, 2017.

Discover the generous community support that made the vision a reality: ART PARK DONOR WALL. Fundraising for building costs to the Art Park is ongoing. We invite you to JOIN THE LIST of supporters with your gift to the Art Park today!

Missoula and Montana realized an extraordinary opportunity on April 21, 2017 with the Dedication & Inaugural Exhibition Opening of the Missoula Art Park. Designed to promote creativity in a public space, provide artists a venue for large-scale outdoor art, educate the public, and furnish outdoor classroom space, the Art Park surrounds the Missoula Art Museum and extends across Pine Street to Adventure Cycling Association.MAM’s installation of large-scale sculptural artworks placed throughout the Park, combined with opportunities to create public art, is destined to attract visitors and local residents. As noted in the 2012 Americans for the Arts’ Creative Industries: Business and Employment in the Arts study, “Arts organizations…are the cornerstone to tourism and downtown revitalization.”

The Missoula Art Park epitomizes “Creative Placemaking,” which is becoming state-of-the-art nationally, where partners from public, private, nonprofit, and community sectors strategically shape and establish the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities. Creative Placemaking energizes public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together. The scope of the Missoula Art Park project evinces a strong sense of place to unite the diverse offerings of our vibrant community and ensure and sustain its physical and economic health. Read a recent article about the importance of public art and creative placemaking in America.


The economic benefits of the Park promote smart growth by providing an outstanding quality of life downtown. It also catalyzes economic growth by helping businesses thrive, increases property values throughout downtown, extending visitors’ time downtown and enticing them to spend more on goods and services.


The Missoula Art Park provides additional environmental benefits with thoughtful and ecological landscaping in our urban core. Trees were chosen to improve air quality and filter airborne pollutants. The park improves water and soil quality with its healthy trees and foliage and features best practices in growing trees in the urban environment. The park helps to calm traffic and reduce noise for a more peaceful setting, encouraging and even celebrating biking and walking in the Park and beyond.

Outdoor spaces with trees and public art discourage crime and violence, promote community-building and reduce stress, help businesses thrive, and increase property values. In addition, providing bike facilities and route networks are vital to local quality of life and prosperity. Trees were planted using new Silva Cell systems, which create space for roots below streets thus fostering strong and healthy trees. Downtown Art Park stakeholders expressed the need for a public bathroom for nearby Saturday market customers and people outdoors, so the Art Park includes a Portland Loo, a well-designed public restroom that answers cleanliness and security concerns.

Read about the Silva Cell installation on October 14, 2016. Learn more about the safety features of the Portland Loo in the Missoulian article from April 26, 2017.

Maintenance and Cleanliness

Missoula Parks and Recreation, working with the Business Improvement District and the Missoula Art Museum, are committed to maintaining the Art Park to the highest standards of maintenance, including daily care April through mid-October and multiple times per week the rest of the year. MAM staff is on-site six days a week, and Parks and Recreation has a 24-7 callout should any concerns need immediate attention.

Safety & Security

The SPVV Landscape Architect’s design of the Missoula Art Park was thoroughly vetted through public and neighborhood forums and through the lens of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), led by Robert Scheben, City Crime Prevention Officer, and the staff of Missoula Parks & Recreation, led by Donna Gaukler. The goal of the CPTED review is to achieve a park design that enhances public safety and improves the quality of life downtown.

(Image by Slikati Photo + Video)

Missoula Art Park and its Portland Loo operate hours similar to other Missoula Parks and Recreation restrooms: 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Security is addressed via automatic lighting, infrared detection and electronic security cameras. Missoula Police Department’s Downtown Policing Plan calls for one full-time officer dedicated to the downtown area year-round and five to six officers are assigned to downtown for the summer months, as well as two full-time Community Service Specialists (CSS).


The Missoula Parking Commission created a plan to add more short-term parking spaces in the immediate neighborhood of the Art Park than are being removed by the project. These involve inventory from privately owned parking lots in the area, converting 10-hour parking meters to two-hour short-term meters, and/or converting poorly utilized bus stops in the area to metered spaces. In addition, the parking structure Park Place, located on the corner of East Front and Pattee street, is just three blocks away from the Art Park and offers 40 low-cost, short-term parking spaces, as well as monthly parking.

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