Missoula sports teams and Parks and Recreation share a common goal: safe, high-quality athletic turf for games and tournaments. Preserving sports fields in the shoulder seasons can be a challenge for your team's practice schedule, but it's necessary to ensure fields are ready for competitive play.
We appreciate your patience and efforts in preserving athletic turf before its growing season begins. This page is intended to help inform sports organizations and residents about how the Department considers data in order to safely open fields.
4/14/23 Update: FMRP grass fields will open Saturday, April 15.
All other City sports fields are open.
Sports Turf Opening Requirements:
Prior to opening sports fields for reservations, Missoula Parks and Recreation uses the criteria listed below. These criteria were developed from overall best management practices for turf management in our region. These benchmarks must be met in order to ensure safe and sustainable turf grass.
Soil temperature must be holding at 45° or above.
The grass does not begin to come out of dormancy until soil temperatures are at 45 degrees. Turf resiliency depends on its ability to grow. Grass that is coming out of dormancy is not yet growing, leaving it more vulnerable to damage that could affect field conditions moving forward. Holding means the soil temperature remains at or above 45° degrees for 3 consecutive days.
Moisture levels in the turf must be below 30%.
When fields contain more than 30% moisture, they become unsafe for athletic footing and more vulnerable to compaction. This is observed when mud and water are pressed out of the ground while simply walking on the fields. It is crucial that field activity is avoided when these conditions are present for the safety of athletes and future field conditions.