2020 Pathfinder Award


The Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation is excited to reveal our new, annual Pathfinder award. This award will honor and recognize those dedicated community members who go above and beyond to provide outdoor opportunities in our community!


We are honored to announce that our first ever Pathfinder award will be going to Dot Helm, the “Mother of the Greenbelt,” for her service, dedication, and advocacy for trails and parks in the Mat-Su. Thank you so much Dot, for everything you do!



After 9 years of unwavering service, Dot Helm is terming off the Mat-Su Trials and Parks Foundation Board. Dot is a founding member of the Foundation, bringing technical expertise, a long historical viewpoint, and a passion for environmental education and building trails that benefit young and old. Her time on the Board has seen the organization grow from no grants awarded the first year to over $350,000 yearly. The Foundation owes its success, in part, due to her GIS skills, and her attention to detail while serving on the committee that evaluates project applications. 


Beyond MSTPF, Dot’s contribution to the Matanuska Greenbelt cannot be overstated. Working with volunteers and land managers in the Mat-Su Borough, State of Alaska, and other organizations, Dot was instrumental in coordinating trail naming and sign placement in the Greenbelt. The unified maps and signs make it possible for trail users to identify a destination and plan a hike or follow a trail that is clearly marked aiding user comfort and safety. The posts were also labeled with coordinates and filed with local first responders in order to aid in search and rescue incidents. Residents and visitors throughout the region have been the beneficiary of this group’s committed and patient efforts to enhance the quality of trails users’ experiences in the Mat-Su. Her work has improved the entire greenbelt network and helped create a safer outdoor recreation area for current and future generations to enjoy. In the rapidly growing Mat-Su, this integrated network of trails in the core area that connects access to lakes and runs up and down glacial moraine ridges is an invaluable asset for all of Alaska.


Her impact goes beyond Board service and the Greenbelt. She is plugged in as a community advocate for better parks and trails development through serving on countless boards and committees over the years. It’s not unusual to see Dot’s name listed as a member or advisor on local recreation plans that have been developed in this century.


Dot is a generous donor of time and money to important causes; therefore, it makes perfect sense that she is the first recipient of the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation’s Pathfinder Award! At the end of the year, we will honor an individual champion working to help build a world-class trails and parks network in the Mat-Su. We have decided that there are enough wooden plaques in the world, so for this award, each recipient will be eligible to select a non-profit of their choice to grant $1,000. Dot has selected Alaskans for Palmer Hayflats, a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving the natural and cultural resources of the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge.


We wish Dot all the best and know that we will see her on the trails!



Pick. Click. Give.


While applying for their PFD online, Alaskans can choose to Pick.Click.Give. in increments of $25. All donations are tax deductible and donors will receive tax documentation from the State once their donations have been processed. Permanent Fund Dividend applications are available from January 1 to March 31, though Alaskans may choose to add or adjust their pledges online through August 31.

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The Mat-Su Trails & Parks Foundation partners with organizations and local governments on projects and efforts that expand and enhance the valley’s network of trails and parks. Find out how we can help fund your next trail, park, or recreation project!

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