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The Daily Missoulian. [volume] (Missoula, Mont.) 1904-1961, July 23, 1911, Morning, Editorial Section, Image 11

Image and text provided by Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025316/1911-07-23/ed-1/seq-11/

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Missom:a has the distinction of hav
ing been the first city in Montana to
inaugurate the systematic operation of
playgrounds for children. fRo success
ful has the work--started in such a
small way--(become that the city is
already proud of this distinction and
the efforts of those who first became
Interested in the movement is deserv
ing of recognition. To the Missoula
Woman's club Js due all the credit for
having first brought the playground
moVement to the attention of public
spirited citizens of Mlissoula. Early
this year thris organization, after hav
ing had the question under discus
sion for a number of months, suc
ceeded In bringing to Missoula a
speaker of the National Playground
association who delivered the first
playground lecture ever heard In the
Garden city. So vidivdly did he de
pk-t the great movement that im
med:ately after his speech a tempo
rary organization was perfected. This
led to a permament organization, the
Missoula Playground association, and
a few days later active worKl was
started, Dr. W. D, Harkins of the
university being the moving spirit.
After a short campaign for funds, all
of which were raised by voluntary
subserlptlons, the association found it
self In a position to secure a trained
playground director to conduct the
locLI organization along the lines
recognized 'by the national playground
ussoclation. The dhoicy of the board
tell on Dr. Bushnell and hils wife, of
Wiscormin, both having had long prac
tical experience in the work. Dr.
Bushnell was the organizer of the
Indlanapolls playground system and
assisted in the work in Milwaukee,
Appleton and other Wisconsin .o. .
The university authorities and the city
school ibomrd co-operated fully in ev
ery feature of the work and with
their umlistance it beCUame poeslble to
establish four playground centers-
one at the university, one , at the
Willard school, another at the Whit
tier groundls and the fourth, for young
children only, at the Central school.
These were equipped with the neces
sary apparatus for the beginning in
the work, which was started just as
soon as Dr. and Mrs. Iushnell arrived.
Whatever may be the final result of
the unfdertaking it should be remem
bered that thls sum:;u:; ; . work was
undertaken by the Mls.,oula Play
ground association merely as a dem
onstration ti, show what the work
really Is and habt It accomplishes,
the object deshled being to make it a
part of the educational work In MWi
soula, the promoters .being hopeful
that the city will ultimately take it
up anld support it as an independent
Movement Spreading.
The fact that within the last 10
years over 300 cities in the United
States have opened playground sys
tems, that now there are over 000
cities with such recreation systems in
operation and with over $100,000,000
invested In the work; that last year
the cities of Chicago and Cincinnati
each voted by a large majority In fa
vor of bond issues for public play
grounds and that many other cities
are passing similar measures; and
that 184 of these cities during the
year splent over $3,0)0,000 in operating
their playgrounds-these ,aets indicate
a widespread and rapid awakening of
the American ipeople these days to the
greatness of the playground idea and
the playground movement. Of course
there are still some peopllo who do not
understand this ani ar.. not yet awake
to the importance of such supervised
public recretloon, Now and then one
meets Intelligent people wlho, not }av
Ing comne into sufficient Clrtact with
this great movement, still think of au
playground as just a weedy vacant
lot witt a few swings and teeters
where a few Idle children may
"~ltnasa" themnselves for a few hours a
day--preullntbly to help relieve their
.oveib~rd#nad parento, gulch an idea,
to be ture, wholly psist.s tile signifl
cance of this great movement .and its
tremendous power for upbilldlang the
°y . . - _
health and happiness of all the peo
pie, old and young.
One Example.
As an example of what a true,
neighborhood recreation ground really
is, and there are many such examples,
take that of the 50-acre playground
valued at $50,000 that was recently
given .by F. 8. Shedd to the city of
Lowell, Mass. This playground is to
have in it an outdoor wading pool,
a swimming pool, a shallow pond for
small boats In eammer and skaiing
in winter, an open-air theater, two
gymnasilum builitings--one for men
and one for women-tennis courts for
both sexes, an afthletio field and play
grounds for small children besidus,
perlhaps, provision for hbund music, li
brary faililties, aseeirinbly rooms, Ilirch
rooms, and slillllar aeeo.modatious
for the neighborhood. Think what
this means for the athletic, moral and
general culture life of such a comn
munity-what It means e ieclally for
the future lives of tile children who
will now 'up it.
Lal4dve ness lMedueed
It Is now a fact, demonstrated be
yond all question, that these recreation
centers in our cities reduce the law
lessness and disorder among the yOung
people of their neoihborhood s nearly
50 per cent. They mean regulated,
earnest disclpline for futtire oitizen
ship. The play of a e1il4 Is by 4q
means mnere "anmusement" in the sense
which that word has for the adult.
It is the child's natural method of
preparatlon for future ife and merits
the most careful consideration and ex
pert guidance that can ibe given. This
question ought to be looked at in this
large Wayr with reference to the dL
velopmenilt of moral, heaulthy civic life.
indeed our cities are coating to seei
that tlhe proper uttention to thils nog-.
lected field of contunnilty recreation
is becominlg an absolute necessity for
the welfare, not to say the very ex
istence, o of our cities thlilnsettles. Not
'by ciany nloeans everyone understands
that in our collntry today, with it+
strenuous, nervotI s, crowded llfe, hI+
sanity inca'asing three tilies tita frut
Ias thie ,i tiii lt~-hn, aunl itlso s iiioe.e
tempernelt i,, doriestic infidelity, in
eIqulitwiblo dilstrtiblniio of wealth and
i other evil. tIhat iare attankilg the very
fnlllllatiilis of ir national life and
all incretihng fiaster tllnii the plpullt.
tlou 'T'hoio.. wllo b i ei stt1iglttl tisti
t l ii i, y c ,l'pt ,a le, l e I. i tl ate tlenU,
but thely also di t,t elleve that they
will right thiimasl', \i ithltout earnest,
sell'f-sntrifiniln piL :l.' co-ol ,erution for
a better talit ilthi'r life.
In view of thiic f't is the most ef
ficiettt ieerltlioin work is now coin
'lng to unify ihn otn sysitil thiui va
Irous fuaturi of tublicy adiUsµdtewt latd
8N .1
puIlti' health. Thus playgrounds, pub.
lie bathe, evening recreation centers,
the regulation of street play, the reg
ulation of mnotion picture theaters and
the public dance halls, the celebra
lion of natlnllal holHdays like the
Fourth of July, the arrangements for
civic pageants-all of these and other
lneilaur undertakingi are being unified
In the mnost progresslve cities under
the Imlanagemnellt of properly-organized
pu tbllo recreation commnlisslons, ent
ploying paid expert secretaries and
expe.rt play leaders. This is being
done in accordance with three well
rucognized principles. Flirat, that pub
lic provislon for the recreation of the
citizens Is as fundamental and proper
a work In the modern city as Is pro.
vision for any other human need
cecond, that only as the different
kinds of putblic recre(toln are properly
related and stioervised can we have
a dgoree of effrclency. Third, wx
pert leadershlp and direction are be.
coming demanded and supplied for
work thet year around. Thirty-two of
the hlading cbties of thi, country l. s
year alone emplo)yed 643 workers
throughout the whik. ..y a1.W the
demand for s;"t'8i ,export worwkrs is ex
ceetllng tihle Nuly. A most Important
part of, I!i ereeation movement Is
tilt lrllitu tl of the schoollhluseli
1Vt-11lgls as recreationll cnters fir tihe
older emlll lllers of th l.ighlirlt,,,,
as well ail t yh 'ull.,r, w r't O l t .,II)ly
ti-al reralt n l ln o\ Vl e ll,*.jielI, but
\iher+ iw.gh}oul'y wl t uon; ,at tth,,r to
iliptrllb+4.e tio ill. nilly In this way
c'4qit oulr 'l it ai h, to develop an in
tellhigeitl I tll fi*t'leltnt detoll c l.racy.
An thle 11"p,! "giln t See the Iln
Iportill'nce of tills grout public work
they will tlilpirt it financie.!.: Jw.5
as rea;ly suld whith ,'b.,t 44 i4)tu rea
su i as they ",.. ltplJptrt the publil
tHllre in l Mlsoula we are ,iHow In the
begIlllllli+g of it very hopfllul moIve.
Inent for t!eo -tabtlshintet (or thi+
recreation conters. Thu peoplo have
seemed unusually cordial and Inlatl
gent in taking up this work and th.
matnagenbunt of the ployground asso
iatluon hasl beun fortunatetrn securlag
a corps uf enthuslastic and efflcliet
local psay directors on tha four play
ialujnds that hu±vu now been opened.
As has beuloru been suggested, each
pi.uylrounu.l is urgaited to secure not
only 4he .ainarntum of physical de
v'c.up.ent and healthy play fot tg
chiluren, but alai the proper moral
anld ciic developmnont whlclt mlaay bu
hu ea.l.y taught upon a playground.
The directors, a man for the older
boys oand a womlnU for the girls and
little boys, entilit with them, in the
cuntrul u. the playground, the cap
tail1l tf thu varlious teanls to congstl
tutu the play ground coucitl for the
ddauppruval ut cases of alleged viola
tiou of the playgaound rules :adopted
by the chllidrun theltnselve.s In their
lnlleral tasahrblly. These ruleo provide
for lpenailtles, c-hiefly suslpelaton trolu
the playground, tur each oftinse, as
chacatint or destruction of propurty or
dlortder'ly or improper conduct, and
have been applied thus far during the
itllltlll.r Wtil good discretiO. onI the
part uo the directors and their coun
liirectcrwi for the playground work
were vlectt'ld several wcks ago and
it.ilgnlitt to the sevuclal giu'nids, all
indi " the up trvii.t.in of ir. ltiihinull,
ac follows;
Whttllllr school--C. E. Rupp and
aiiss Ma'ry Allen.
\illard acuul--aid L,\'er and
.aliss timrte ?'lyl.
L'uiirtrlty c.tlipuis--tlcllrt II. Cary
tind .Mrs. I J. BushnUtll.
0- 1t' lA .'hu t l- M.l!os .\1 , e lillrug.
'ltis week two new tirs tura were
pputlhtted--Mias M.Lton tU. PritUh
a;llt andl iMli May Murphy oun
the Willard anid Central schila)l play
grounul., reupet ilvety, in the places of
Mist Gradce ?ynn andl Miss iaule
nutnue04 en------ lie Ttre
tCuutlnuu. on I Three~l

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