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Construction Phase


In April 2001, a two member crew from Leathers appeared in Missoula to supervise the pre-build process. The first day of volunteer building activity, over 150 holes were drilled into the small area set aside for the Dragon Hollow. Over the next two days posts were set into those holes and the enclosed structure which would become the dragon’s body began to take shape.

Some volunteers had agreed to give a four-hour shift to help with the project. A few of those–mostly highly talented builders–came back shift after shift, day after day for the entire pre-build and build. The satisfaction and excitement of building Dragon Hollow was irresistible!

Leathers sent a three-member crew in May. Work began at 7 a.m. each day and didn’t end until dark. For every minute of each day, the playarea and staging area were filled with volunteers. By 6 p.m. on May 21, 2001, Dragon Hollow was “substantially complete” and the crowds rolled in to play.

More than 4,000 volunteers, including nearly 1,000 children and several high school classes, had participated in the construction of Dragon Hollow. Local residents and businesses had again supported a project for ‘our kids.’ Once again, Missoula created magic in Caras Park and built a neighbor worthy of the Carousel.

By May of 2002, all the finishing touches were completed and the dragon’s home was done. Today, the playground sees scores of children running, climbing, jumping, swinging and delighting in the unique and distinctive play area created by the people of Missoula.