Playground Updates Project

  • playground

    Looks what's new! ⇑  Check out paxsonpta on Instragram or Facebook for the latest progress photos of Phase 3, our Nature Based play area.

    Play! Paxson Updates Project: Updating our playground to inspire play, creativity and connection to nature, while fostering kindness and building relationships with the community.

    We are so excited to share with you the journey of updating our playground.  Our Paxson teachers, administration, students, and parent community work together to make Paxson Elementary a great place to be and we thank you for your support in making this dream of an updated playground a reality. This conversation began in 2016 with a small group of parents and is now ready to make the amazing impact imagined!

    Join the conversation to learn more! Give the Gift of Play and DONATE TODAY!

    • The Play! Paxson Updates Project has taken place in phases.  Phase one includes the updates you see today.  The wonderful asphalt painting that encourages activity.  Vibrant colors were chosen for the 4-square, maze, activity lines and classroom lines. One basketball hoop was lowered which resulted in many more students playing the sport! A fun ball-wall was erected.  And a garden gate installed so a portion of the outdoor learning center could be used safely by students at recesses.
    • In collaboration with our PTA Safety committee and MCPS, additional updates were made including repairing fences, widening the East and West fence entryways, and relocating bus pick up and drop off zones (separating modes of transportation to increase safety for all).  We thank the City of Missoula for approving the PTA Safety committees request for stop signs that were installed on the two intersections on Gerald Avenue, for repainting crosswalks, and for the installation of dry wells to collect storm water that makes the corner of Evans and Gerald useable all year round.
    • In 2019 we focused on improving our field condition. We toyed with artificial turf but the cost was way out of our budget.  So in collaboration with MCPS, we worked through a turf management plan to give our field a boost and removed it from play for the summer and wow, all those efforts paid off.  It really looks great and with a new maintenance plan in place, we are proud to say "the grass is always greener" at Paxson.
    • In 2020, the playground team took a hiatus as did many due to covid-19, but a group of volunteers touched up the playground paint and added a few class lines!
    • In 2021, new bike racks that are easier for young riders to use were delivered to the newly paved North bike parking nook on Evans Avenue thanks to PTA funds and a City of Missoula grant.
    • In 2021-22, we asked for help to raise $100,000 for the additional updates which includes new equipment and more areas for play! Visit our progress at
    • During the school year, about 430-450 Paxson students use our playground each school day.  It is one of the smaller school playgrounds in MCPS, so the goal is to create more "space" through new equipment, cool spaces like a stage and seating areas, and a new natural play space to explore. 
    • The Paxson Playground extends beyond our students and welcomes additional community members after school and on weekends.
    • An average of 75 kids per day visit the Paxson Playground from local after-care school groups.
    • Thank you to the community that fundraised and installed the existing play structure back around 2005.  Donate today and leave a lasting legacy like those before us!
    • Learn more at