July 6, 2017, Anchorage, AK – Progress towards a health and healing themed park in the U-Med Districts begins this weekend. On Saturday, July 8 from 9am-12pm, volunteers will gather at Folker Park for a Neighborhood Park Fix-It hosted by the Anchorage Park Foundation and Anchorage Parks and Recreation. Volunteers will plant forget-me-not flowers to mimic a stream weaving through the park’s east side. The blue forget-me-not is Alaska’s state flower as well as the official Alzheimer’s symbol. Volunteers are asked to come dressed in comfortable clothes that can get dirty.
Anchorage Parks and Recreation Planner Maeve Nevins has been working with a community advisory group of neighbors to develop a master plan for the park that encompasses an intergenerational, health and healing theme and will include an art area, inclusive playground, paved labyrinth, fitness area, healing path, and more. The park imagined is a place for neighboring healthcare employees to walk or run on their lunchbreaks, neighboring families to explore nature and play, and senior residents of Providence Horizon House to enjoy outdoor activities and picnics with visiting loved ones.
This volunteer event will kick-off the improvements and construction planned for 2018. Funding for two intertwined ADA accessible, 8-foot wide paved trails with safety lighting for night and winter use was secured this past spring when Anchorage voters bonded $200,000 for the park. The outer loop will be a fitness trail. The inner loop, shaped like a Celtic Healing Knot to symbolize eternity, will encourage a slower pace. Both will be wide enough to accommodate two wheelchairs.
In May, park neighbor Barbara Garner and the Providence Horizon House, a senior residency located across the street, were awarded an Anchorage Park Foundation Challenge Grant, for their vision of a fitness area with equipment that seniors, adults, and youth of all ages can use together. The Anchorage Park Foundation is matching every dollar that the group raises for the project up to $12,500. Challenge Grants encourage community stewardship and partnership to make positive changes in Anchorage’s parks and trails. Recipients of the grant must match the funds with private donations, in-kind services, or volunteer hours. The group is currently fundraising for the project.
“This is our first park project with a restorative vision and we’re excited to collaborate with partners and begin fundraising,” says Jess Rude, Anchorage Park Foundation Philanthropy Director. Contact Jess at 249-6650 or Jess@AnchorageParkFoundation.org to learn more about supporting the project.
Folker Park Fix-It
Saturday July 8, 9am-12pm
2701 E. 42nd Ave
Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/232879253889487
This Park Fix-It is one of four in the Anchorage Park Foundation’s 2017 season. For twelve years, the Anchorage Park Foundation has worked alongside Anchorage Parks and Recreation and community groups to perform necessary improvements to Anchorage parks and trails. For more information or to RSVP for this event, contact the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Volunteer Coordinator, Michelle Fehribach at FehribachMR@muni.org or 343-4587.