Planning for the Future-Rocky Mountain Gardens and Exploration Center

The Missoula County Fairgrounds has connected people for over a century by bridging our rural heritage and urban vibrancy providing a place in the heart of Missoula that inspires learning and recreation for all ages.

After a century of service stakeholders developed a new vision for the Fairgrounds. A phasing plan is in place for this massive effort. When all phases are complete, the refreshed Fairgrounds will include a total of 19 acres of open space for trails and parks, rehabilitated historic buildings, new facilities, a welcoming perimeter providing enhanced security and safety, and ample parking. Several of the historic renovations have been completed or are near completion and the new maintenance facility is underway.

We couldn’t be more excited to be working on a new facility to be one of the first new structures on the campus as part of the Fairgrounds revitalization plan.

Recognizing the unique synergy of our programs, the Missoula Butterfly House & Insectarium and Missoula County Weed District and Extension and the Conservation District are creating the premier destination for scientific and community centered education and a place to find connection with nature and our rural heritage in the Rocky Mountain West.

Back of new facility

The Missoula County Weed District and Extension and the Butterfly House and Insectarium have worked in collaboration for several years on youth and adult education efforts. This relationship deepened to embrace the idea of creating a joint facility for Missoula and beyond. While there is much work to be done, we are looking forward to the opportunities and experiences these partnerships will provide visitors to the Rocky Mountain Gardens and Exploration Center.

Garden layout, new design

Here architectural renderings provide a view of the RMGEC from the public access along South Avenue including the roof top for the tropical butterfly house and a peak at the vision for 2.5 acres of educational gardens on the south side of the building.

To learn more about these partnerships, our programs and to stay informed go to