Missoula County awards grants to Seeley Lake organizations

MISSOULA COUNTY - The Seeley Lake Lions Club, Seeley Lake Regional Outdoor Center for Kinetic Sports (ROCKS), Veterans and Families of Seeley Lake, and The Potomac-Greenough Community Center will all receive grants of various sizes following a Missoula County Commissioner meeting on Thursday, Jan. 7. Missoula County’s Parks, Trails and Open Lands Program distributed $46,000 in matching grants to organizations throughout the county with the intent of improving local communities.

The Seeley Lake Lions Club will receive $16,988 to put in a playground, new benches, picnic tables, plantings and other improvements in the Lions Club Park on the corner of Cedar Lane and Elm Drive in Seeley Lake.

Seeley Lake Lions Club President John McTear said the improvements will likely be completed in stages especially the playground. They will have access to the funding in the near future and have already dedicated portions of it towards replacing old maintenance equipment.

“We’re starting to do the planning process to put all these ideas in place,” McTear said. “We were waiting to get past the end of the holidays and start on it this month. I think it’s an exciting idea for the people in that area and in general. The improvements we’re going to be making will be considerable. It’ll take some time obviously, but I think we’ve had really positive feedback from people.”

Seeley Lake ROCKS will receive $2,700 to go towards buying lights, lumber, a fire hose, as well as additional skates and other equipment for the Seeley Lake Community Skating Rink in the fields next to Seeley Lake Elementary. The rink has been open since Christmas and will likely be open throughout most of March.

ROCKS President Garry Swain said the funding is critical to the rink’s continued operation.

“Without it, ROCKS wouldn’t be able to provide a quality ice rink for the kids and families in Seeley and the folks that visit from outside of town,” Swain said in an email.

Veterans and Families of Seeley Lake received $2,500 for site improvements, memorial plaques, a sheltered kiosk and a protective display at the Seeley Lake Veterans’ Memorial. President Barbara Knopp said they hope to resume work on the memorial as soon as possible in the spring.

“[The grant] helps to beautify the area and also puts the name plaques for the deceased under cover so that they don’t wear out like ... the old ones,” she said.

The Potomac-Greenough Community Center will receive $10,365 to purchase a pre-K play structure for the Center’s playground. The rest of the funds will be used to purchase padding in the Potomac Greenough Community Center gym.

Other grants that were awarded include:

• $1,369 for Nine Mile Community Center to remove barbed-wire fencing and install new perimeter fencing at the Nine Mile Community Center.

• $1,814 for Friends of Two Rivers to help replace the roof on the picnic pavilion at the West Riverside Community Park.

• $1,833 for Upper Linda Vista HOA to help remove the volleyball court area and replace it with turf at Kelsey Park in Miller Creek.

• $8,500 for Travelers’ Rest State Park to construct an accessible spur trail, which will link the Bitterroot Trail to the park grounds and will include permanent art installations along the trail.

“While our grant partners have certainly felt impacts from COVID-19, we are encouraged by the large amount of applications received this year,” Parks and Trails Coordinator John Stegmaier said. “All signs point to communities across the county recognizing the importance of their recreation facilities and a willingness to spearhead improvement projects.”

More information about the Matching Grants Program is available on https://www.missoulacounty.us/government/community-development/community-planning-services/parks-trails/matching-grants.


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