- Willow Dog Mushers Association – Iditarod Interpretive Sign Project, $16,000: This project will include researching, writing, designing, editing, and printing an interpretive panel by Alaska State Parks Interpretive and Education Unit. The sign will be located in a high visibility area next to the Willow Public Library, Willow Community Center, Willow Historical Museum, and the winter trailhead parking area.
- Alaska Trails – Alaska Mountain Bike Summit at GPRA, $3,500: The Alaska Mountain Bike Summit will bring together mountain bike groups, riders and supporters for a two-day conference to share resources, knowledge, best practices and excitement for more and better mountain bike trails in Alaska. It will be held at the Government Peak Chalet on Saturday and Sunday, October 14th and 15th, 2023.
- Alaska State Parks – Tarn Point Trail Planning, $3000: This is a planning grant for trail work to improve the Tarn Point Trail, the current terminus for the Curry to K’esugi Connector Trail Project. The Tarn Point Trail goes through sensitive habitat and would not be able to support the increased traffic resulting from the Curry Connector Project.
- Meadow Lake Community Council Park Trail Development, $25,000: The goal of this project is to create additional trails at the Meadow Lakes Community Parks. The project is part of the Meadow Lakes Community Council (MLCC) Community Park located off Pittman Rd in Meadow Lakes. The new trail area is a 40-acre wooded site that was deeded to MLCC in 2022 by the Mat-Su Borough for public use. Meadow Lakes Community Development (MLCD) works with MLCC to serve the Meadow Lakes community. MLCC holds the deed to the community park, and MLCD, a 501(c)(3) organization, operates works to expand and improve the park’s features. A trail plan, funded by MSTPF, was designed in 2022 by Happy Trails, LLC. The trails (the West Loop, East Loop, and Connectors) were marked by Happy Trails and can currently be walked, although the current surfacing and tread is considered “rough”. Currently, the primary limiting factor to full use of the trails is the lack of bridges to cross the creek. The plan for 2023 would be to construct and install the two bridges, remove any hazardous trees, clear and smooth the surface of the trail, and install directional signs. The new trails will add approximately 2 and 1/2 miles of trails, bringing the total trails in the park to approximately 4 miles. Additional trails will be added in the future.
- Skeetawk Mid-Mountain Trail System, $60,000: The goal of this project is to develop Skeetawk’s mid-mountain terrain for both summer and winter recreation opportunities. By developing trails that access the higher alpine area of Skeetawk’s lease area, we will be able to offer summertime hiking/biking trails for recreationalists of all athletic levels. Additionally, the trail network will allow snowcat access to the midmountain terrain in early season/low snow conditions. This will support the development of winter alpine recreation activities such as education courses, tour cat services, competition teams, and ultimately further lift-accessed skiing and snowboarding. Developing this trail network further into Skeetawk’s higher alpine terrain also helps to solve a significant parking problem for Mat-Su summertime recreationists in Hatcher Pass. Many of these summertime recreationists are visiting Hatcher Pass for the hiking/biking opportunities which allow them access to high alpine terrain with scenic views and vistas. Skeetawk’s current lease area has a significant overgrowth of alders and underbrush separating the current trails from the mountain peaks. The grant funds from this application will allow users to recreate on our current trail network (including the existing meadow loop and switchback trails), and the newly constructed mid-mountain trails accessing the mountain peaks of Skeetawk’s lease area, while their cars are safely parked in Skeetawk’s large parking lot. This project will result in an estimated 30 by 3500 ft trail, that would connect with and allow construction access to the proposed GPRA to 16-mile traverse that is part of the AK long Trail Project.
- Mat-Su Ski Club – Grooming Equipment, $100,000: The main goal of this grant is to purchase a new PistenBully 100. MSSC writes that the equipment will “help ensure well-groomed trails for Nordic skiers, walkers, and bikers at each of these popular trail systems. A second PistenBully also provides important backup capability in case one PB breaks down.” This will be a valuable investment in the success of the Arctic Winter Games in 2024 and furthers our commitment to making GRPA a world-class venue. Additionally, this will potentially provide a solution for grooming at Independence Mine and Archangel Road.
- Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers – GPRA Mountain Bike Trail Repairs, $19,851: The main goal of this project is to make improvements to existing mountain bike trails at Government Peak Recreation Area. The project will remediate damages caused by 2022 rain events and make improvements, so the trails are less susceptible to damage in future rain events. This project will be completed by using a chartered helicopter to ferry super sacks of gravel to 23 identified trail sections at GPRA. VMBaH volunteers will use existing tools, as well as purchase a new plate compactor, to add gravel to the trail surface. VMBaH will also rent a mini excavator to add ditches to key sections of the trail where additional drainage is needed.
- City of Wasilla – Iditapark Paved Trails, $35,000: The main goal of this application is to connect two sections that are not paved and help increase the ease of access on trails in the park. At the west side there is a section that was never paved which is 0.21 miles. In the middle a shortcut loop was never paved as the park developed, which is about a quarter of a mile. This project would complete all the loops for a complete paved fully ADA accessible trail network throughout the park, which is the busiest of the City’s parks. COW employs staff and has a budget to maintain the investment in the future.
- Great Land Trust – Settlers Bay Coastal Park Development, $10,000: Grant funding for development at Settlers Bay Coastal Park.
- Alaska State Parks Lynx Lake Loop, $49,944: The main goal of this application is to increase visitor safety on the Lynx Lake Canoe Loop. Infrastructure in the area has become degraded over time, and beetle-killed spruce are blocking trails and hanging over campsites. AK State Parks would rehabilitate boardwalks, replace latrines, improve signage, and log out beetle-killed trees. The bulk of the funds will go to paying a 3-person crew and buying tools and materials to service the project.
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!