The Mat-Su Trails & Parks Foundation strives to develop and maintain a quality trails and park system, which promotes healthy lifestyles, enriches our residents’ quality of life, and provides economic value by enhancing recreation, tourism, and business opportunities for all.
The Mat-Su Valley will have access to a connected system of trails and parks for all users and future generations, promoting healthy lifestyles and providing economic opportunity.
The Mat-Su Trails & Parks Foundation will empower people to build this trails and parks system by facilitating collaboration and funding projects.
- Develop an integrated system of trails and parks throughout the Mat-Su Borough.
- Support development and implementation of a formalized trail management plan that engages user groups to understand user requirements.
- Promote the benefits that trails and parks provide to our communities.
- Develop sustainable resources to support these goals.
Kathryn Swartz – Board Chair
Kathryn lives in Wasilla with her Alaskan husband, two children, and a large Bouvier des Flandres. Kathryn thrives on adventuring with her family and making positive things happen. She loves to hike, bike and cruise in our side-by-side. Her favorite place in the Valley is Hatcher Pass. When out and about with her family, her kids know her weak spot – – she is willing to stop at any ice cream shop.
Kathryn worked for 20 years in international development for the World Bank. Habla español. She is now employed by the Mat-Su Health Foundation.
Chris Jones – Vice Chair
Chris is a life long Alaskan and Vice Chair on the MSTPF Board. Raised in Anchorage, he relocated to the Mat-Su Valley with his family of four in 1983. “One of the best moves I’ve ever made.”
A retired PE Teacher and avid outdoorsman, Chris enjoys hiking the numerous hiking trails in valley mountains as well as biking, and skiing them. A former sport fishing guide he has been fortunate to experience many of the natural outdoor delights Alaska presents to us all. Besides having hiked, floated, and played on the Arctic Coast, the rivers and lakes there, and the interior, he has mountain biked the 2,800 mile Great Divide, and recently embarked on the 1700 mile Baja Divide.
Chris coaches Jr. Nordics for the Mat-Su Ski Club and grooms ski trails at GPRA, Archangel Rd., and Independence Mine and has worn many different hats in his lifetime. But his newest hat of one and half years serving on the MSTPF Board has been an honor and privilege and he looks forward to giving back so that others may experience the wonders of Alaska and playing a part in the development of parks and trails in the Matanuska – Susitna Valley. His wife Kathleen, also a retired teacher and lifelong Alaskan enjoys traveling Alaska, playing outdoors, and herself a former guide. They have two successful (outdoorsy) and beautiful adult children, Katy & Danny. Who could ask for more?
Desire’ Shepler – Secretary
More info coming soon…
Rachel is a long time Alaskan. Living in Alaskan communities since 1971, such as Nome, Juneau, Fairbanks, Anchorage and, since 1993, the Mat-Su Borough; Rachel appreciates planning and community participation in development and maintenance of the trails. Taking into account the various user groups is essential in collaboration and development of Trails and Parks in the Beautiful Mat-Su Borough. Rachel brings knowledge and experience of non-profit management to the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation.
Although a trail user most of my life, I stumbled into trail issues big time after retiring as a public school teacher. Living in a recreational community of Willow has given me experiences in community trail planning and development and has allowed me to see the recreational potential of the Mat-Su area. My goal is for everybody to have easy access to recreational trails and parks directly from their homes as I have from mine. When not running, hiking, mushing or riding on the trails you will find me traveling or playing my tuba.