2022 MSTPF Grant Recipients
We provide grants to support local trails, parks, and outdoor recreation projects. See what our 2022 grantees did thanks to your support!
The Mat-Su Trails & Parks Foundation (MSTPF) partners with entities on projects and efforts that expand and enhance the valley’s trail network and parks. The foundation considers grant applications for financial assistance on a competitive basis each quarter as funding availability allows. Before submitting an application, potential partners are encouraged to learn more about our priorities by reviewing the foundation’s Grant Guidelines or contact staff directly to discuss their project. Learn more about our grants.
Willow Area Community Organization – Shem Pete Trail Project Phase 3, $13,400
This project will help Willow residents and visitors learn about the rich natural and cultural history of the Willow area by creating and installing four natural history panels along the Shem Pete Interpretive Trail at Newman Park. This project will provide for a healthy community and offer stewardship by creating an awareness of the rich natural and cultural history of Willow and the Mat-Su community.
By using the high quality resources of AK State Parks, Interpretation and Education the panels will be of “world class.” The panels will be accessible from an ADA compliant trail, thus offering more equitable accessibility for people of all ages and physical abilities. The project is meant not only to enhance recreational opportunities but will also present to visitors the natural and cultural history to the Mat-Su area. For example, the interpretive panels will describe specific topics such as high bush cranberries with the Dena’ina name and use of the berries.
Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers – GPRA Field of Dreams, $40,000
VMBaH is pursuing the development of world-class mountain biking trails at GPRA by connecting the existing looped trail systems with more technical, diverse, and exciting fall line trails. This proposal is for funding of phase one of a new trail zone that has been titled “Field of Dreams” because of the incredible views and natural terrain features it will utilize.
This project will take place entirely within the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Government Peak Recreation Area. It will consist of two trails built in the Northwest corner of the area, west of the Government Peak hiking trail and north of the current Monkshood biking trail. This project will continue a productive partnership between VMBAH and MSTPF. Together with the Mat-Su borough, private contractors, and volunteer labor efforts this project will continue to expand the quality mountain biking available to residents and non-residents alike.
Mat-Su Tennis Association – Palmer Tennis Court Improvements, $90,000
The Mat-Su Tennis Association held a ribbon cutting event in early July for the much-improved Bill Herman Memorial Tennis Courts located in downtown Palmer. The Mat-Su Tennis Association received a $90,000 Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation grant in Spring of 2022 to complete this $160,000 project. The project removed the existing ruined courts, regraded the area, added new asphalt, completely refinished the court surface, as well as added a new backboard, nets, and fencing. The completion of this project adds to the outdoor recreation opportunities that help keep our community healthy. It creates a high-quality facility at which residents and visitors can be active and learn to play a lifelong sport!
Alaska Trails – Pioneer Peak Trail Prescription, $6,500
Alaska Trails will lead an effort to rehabilitate the first portion of the popular Pioneer Peak Trail. This trail leads users up a steep path to amazing alpine views. It is a gem that is managed by the Mat-Su Borough, but enjoyed by trail enthusiasts from across the state due to its unparalleled vistas of the Knik Glacier and the challenge of getting all the way to the top. This project will generate a trail prescription for the first portion of the trail that is often wet, especially during the fall
Meadow Lakes Community Development, Inc – 40 Acre Woods Trails Plan, $4,800
The project is for funding to obtain a plan for the design and layout of a trail system in the newly acquired, undeveloped, 40-acre parcel adjoining the existing Meadow Lakes Community Park. Meadow Lakes has very little recreation facilities for its residents. Our existing Community Park provides a soccer field, baseball diamonds, a tennis court, basketball court, children’s playground, two picnic pavilions, a walking trail and a woodland trail. There is no other facility like it within a radius of about 10 miles. The Trail Park will provide additional trails for walking, skiing, biking and horseback riding.
City of Wasilla – Iditapark Tennis Court Enhancements, $35,000
Iditapark park contains two tennis courts that require crack sealing, surface seal, new paint, and striping. The courts are highly used by the Wasilla High School tennis and handball teams, Mat-Su Tennis Association and general park visitors. There are limited courts available in our community and their condition significantly impacts the user experience. The project enhancements include tennis court re-surfacing and improved seating.
Great Land Trust – Settlers Bay Coastal Park Expansion, $25,000
The goal of this project is to expand Settlers Bay Coastal Park (SBCP) and create a larger recreation destination in the Knik-Fairview community while also conserving important fish and wildlife habitat. Great Land Trust (GLT) is raising funds to purchase 187 acres of wetlands and uplands that are adjacent to the 293-acre SBCP. Once purchased, the land will be donated to the Mat-Su Borough to be incorporated into the current SBCP and will amend the existing conservation easement, which GLT holds, to include the new acreage.
This expansion will create more nature-based recreation opportunities for area residents and visitors from all throughout the Mat-Su by creating a destination park with trails and amenities for people of all ages and abilities, and ensure that the park will be maintained as a natural area in perpetuity.
This region of the MSB is growing and developing quickly, with pressures from development in direct conflict with setting aside land for recreational purposes. Providing permanent outdoor recreational opportunities for area residents will greatly improve quality of life and the appeal and market value of the rapidly developing neighborhoods by making it easier to exercise on safe, well-developed trails that are not along the side of a highway. Additionally, this project will give families a destination to take children to play outdoors and people of all ages and abilities a place to gather, exercise, enjoy nature and the health and wellness benefits of both socializing and exercising.
Lake Louise Snowmachine Club – Project Wolf Tracks, $25,000
Acquisition of a new (or gently used) snow groomer will help the Mat-Su Borough by providing the means to continue grooming 310+ miles of world-class winter trails in the Lake Louse area. A new groomer will allow residents and recreationists in the borough and statewide to participate in the grooming effort, and will benefit not only snow machiners, but also dog mushers, cross-country skiiers and fat-tire bikers, and will open the door for other healthy, winter family activities, thus providing equity and accessibility.
Having an interconnecting trail system benefits commercial businesses in and around the area by providing opportunities for activities that promote use of local restaurants, lodging and gas services. LLSMC also partners with the Mat-Su Borough and the State of Alaska to secure annual funding for trail maintenance by providing money for equipment maintenance, fuel, insurance, storage and operation, thus building connections and facilitating partnerships.
The trail system maintained by LLSMC provides trail connectivity from as far west as the Sheep Mountain area to Glennallen in the east. Lodges and businesses throughout the region participate in organized winter activities. Winter activities organized in locations around the Lake Louise area provide opportunities for families to participate in active winter sports and enjoy the outdoors. Participants range in age from 4 or 5 up to 80+, promoting accessibility and equity to a wide range of users.
Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center – Snowmachine for Forecasting and Education: $11,564
Winter recreation in Hatcher Pass has seen explosive use in the last three winters. Snowmachining is seeing tremendous growth and is considered the fastest-growing segment in winter recreation. There is a need and an opportunity to reach out to new users in the backcountry to provide avalanche safety education.
To help meet the need, MSTPF funded a snowmachine for HPAC to use for forecasting, education events, and training. The organization already uses the machine, which Alaska Mining and Diving sold at a discounted rate. We look forward to helping make the Hatcher Pass Area safer for all the users enjoying the backcountry.
Mid-Valley Trail Club – New Snowmachine for Winter Grooming: $19,200
Mid-Valley Trail Club has been providing regular winter trail grooming, marking, clearing, improvement, and signage of around 80 miles of trails in the Mid-Susitna Valley, since 2006. MVTC is part of a constellation of grooming clubs that take care of the Susitna Valley network of trails.
Grooming about 80 miles of trails between Willow and Trapper Creek, the club helps recreational riders have a great day, and enables people who live in the area to get to their cabins safely and efficiently. The Club needs a new grooming machine to replace their current machine purchased in 2015. Their goal is to continue working on the trails for many years.
This award continues our recent approach to funding equipment for groomers who help manage thousands of miles of winter trails all over the Mat-Su.
Alaska Trails – Alaska Long Trail Coordinator: $38,775
Alaska Trails is expanding its capacity to move the Long Trail forward in the Borough, and we are thrilled to be able to support their work. This award helps fund a year of employment for the coordinator position, which will hold planning meetings between stakeholders, provide general outreach and updates on the project and current activities and be available to present to groups and host small events.
The coordinator will connect with political representatives while seeking local, state, and federal funding sources. This step is a significant move to create more capacity within the local outdoor recreation groups while funding a champion for the most ambitious outdoor recreation initiative in the state currently.
Curry Ridge Riders – Trailblazer Grooming Attachment: $4,136
Curry Ridge Riders maintain 55 miles over snow trails in the Susitna Valley just south of Denali State Park. Their winter trail management area provides safe and maintained winter trails and an emergency evacuation route, especially for winter backcountry rescue. Additionally, winter grooming facilitates non-motorized transport such as dogsled, skis, and fat bikes.
This award funds a brushing attachment for the Curry Ridge Riders Bombardier grooming machine that was purchased with funding from a 2021 MSTPF grant. DOT and the Borough have customarily used these attachments for brushing back right-of-way alongside roads. The group needs a fast, mechanized brushing solution to trim vegetation on the sides of the trail. The brushing attachment will be much more effective than volunteers using hand tools.
EASIEST WAY TO DONATE For Alaskans
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!