Kids love playing in leaves. It's just one of those things that you can say with certainty. Kids love sugar, kids love Christmas, kids love playing in leaves. We went to the fall days event at Fort Missoula the other year and my daughter couldn't care less about the arts, crafts, games, music, and food. We pretty much spent the whole time watching her jump in piles of leaves just to rebuild the piles and do it again.

Photo: Ryan Nelson
Photo: Ryan Nelson

Everywhere you look, leaves and more leaves

Lately, our current strolls around the neighborhood take a bit longer than they did a month ago. We have some pretty big trees that have lost their leaves and we can't walk past without stopping for a couple of pile jumps and armfuls thrown in the air. It's pretty amazing how many times I can hear my kids say "I'm bored" with a house full of toys but put some leaves in front of them and they'll entertain themselves for an hour!

Of course, the big bummer about trees losing their leaves would be the gigantic mess it leaves behind. The changing of the colors is beautiful and it just feels like fall when you watch them blow off the tree and cover the ground in a blanket of red and orange. Yep, it's all fun and games until you have to get outside with a rake and clean it all up.

Photo: Ryan Nelson
Photo: Ryan Nelson

City of Missoula leaf collection

At least the disposal part of things is 50/50 when it comes to making your sidewalk and yard look like your sidewalk and yard again as you round up the leaves and the city picks them up. The City of Missoula website says leaf collection will begin on November 1st this year.

For our equipment to be able to collect your leaves, please rake them into the street and against the curb before your scheduled pickup day but NO MORE THAN 2 or 3 days BEFORE your pickup day. This helps to keep the leaves from clogging and blocking the storm drains, which can cause stormwater to accumulate in the street and possibly freeze.

The website offers up some things to keep in mind like not parking cars close to piles, not including trash or other objects in leaf piles, not leaving leaves in bike lanes, and what to do if you miss the scheduled collection or don't want to wait until the scheduled collection.

You can check out a map and schedule for leaf collection on the City of Missoula website.

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