City Club Missoula to take up Central Park, Friday 11:30 in Missoula

Fifty years ago, the 160-acre chunk of public land defined by South Avenue, Russell Street and Bancroft Street in Missoula was open fields holding only the town’s airport and its fairgrounds.

Today, it’s a potpourri of public functions, including a high school campus and the College of Technology.

It all happened by accident, said Geoff Badenoch, vice president of Planning Missoula’s Central Park Inc. What if the next 60 years were planned?

"There’s an old saying, ‘The best time to plant a tree is 40 years ago,’ " he said. "Could we be the ones to plant that tree?"

City Club Missoula will hold its fourth meeting Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Governor’s Room of the Florence Building. The program is "Missoula’s Central Park: A Community Planning Process" with speakers Peter Lambros and Geoff Badenoch. The doors open at 11:30 a.m., lunch is served at 11:45 a.m. and the presentation runs noon to 1 p.m. Discussion is encouraged to continue after 1 p.m.

The meeting costs $10 for a lunch of soup, salad and sandwich, or $5 for no lunch. RSVP to Tom Bensen on Tuesday at 721-9620 or at [email protected]. Payment is collected at the door. If you RSVP and don’t show up, City Club would like you to reimburse the club for the cost of your lunch.

By GINNY MERRIAM of the Missoulian

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