Challenge Grants

APF Challenge Grants are made possible with generous support from the Rasmuson Foundation. 

Grantee Forms:

2013 Challenge Grants

Last year, we awarded 20 challenge grants, totaling $257,672

Completed Projects

  • Abe’s Trail Clearing in Girdwood – $4,000
    In Summer 2013, with the help of contractor Ptarmigan Ptrails, neighbors Carolyn Brodin and Jonnie Lazarus, and their volunteers, cut and removed downed trees on Abe’s trail, trimming branches and repairing a short bridge in the process. This cleared the way for a Youth Employment in Parks crew to finish rehabilitating Abe’s trail later in the summer.
  • Connors Bog Kiosk – $823
    During Summer 2013, Eagle Scout Candidate Gunnar Flotre decoratively cut, framed and powder-coated the posts for a new kiosk, then installed them at Connors Bog.
  • Kincaid North Singletrack - $20,000
    During the summer of 2013, contractor Ptarmigan Ptrails and volunteers worked together to build 7.5 miles of new singletrack trails at Kincaid Park. By planning and participating in 24 separate volunteer events, 268 volunteers worked 2,493 combined hours, ultimately  hand-finishing the new trails.

Projects In Progress

  • Arctic Benson Park Improvements – $40,000
    Neighbor Karen Dechman and 84 volunteers participated in the Arctic Benson Fix-It day on Saturday, July 27, 2013 in support of the new fenced dog park. They plan to work with Parks & Recreation planners this winter to finalize further improvement plans for the summer of 2014, including updating the playground equipment and improving accessible pathways in the park.
  • Didlika Park – $4,050
    In Summer 2013, the Polynesian Association of Alaska organized three volunteer clean up days and met with park planners. Further landscaping improvements are planned for Summer 2014.
  • Gazebo at Glenn-Bragaw Gardens – $3,000
    During the spring of 2013, Anchorage Community Land Trust member and high school student Grant George partnered with an architecture firm, KPB, to develop designs, prepare electrical documents and secure permits for the gazebo project. Construction is planned for the summer of 2014.
  • Kincaid Park Jodphur Trailhead Kiosk – $4,000
    In Summer 2013, Eagle Scout George Cruikshank performed tree limbing, removal of signs, painting, and landscaping to refurbish the informational kiosk at the Jodhpur trailhead. In Summer 2014, he will install a boulder bench near the kiosk.
  • Little Dipper Park Viewing Area - $6,000
    In Summer 2014, Eagle Scout Candidate Brian Durr plans to install a platform in Little Dipper Park, adding two benches to facilitate viewing of the Chugach. 
  • Lloyd Steele Park & Field Upgrades – $20,000
    AK Rush Soccer Club recruited 109 volunteers to clean up the neighborhood park. Future work will include meetings with Parks & Recreation to finalize improvement plans for the soccer field, including adding maintenance equipment, shrubs, garbage cans, and mutt mitt dispensers. 
  • Moen Park – $40,000
    In Summer 2013, neighbors Michelle and Jim Rogers focused on fundraising, organized a brush clearing day for 135 volunteers, and met with neighbors and park planners. They will continue fundraising and planning through the winter. Playground and other construction is planned for Summer 2014. 
  • Momentary View:  Old Hermit Park – $5,741
    In Summer 2014, the Fish Creek Working Group of Spenard neighbors collected tree trunks to be used in construction of an earthworks type sculpture. This winter, they will perform 3D modeling. Construction of the ephemeral sculpture “Woodfalls” will occur in Summer 2014.
  • The Mosaic Project: Girdwood Town Square Park – $11,000
    In Summer 2013, the Girdwood Art Institute performed mosaic tile design, purchased materials, and began installation of mosaic tiles on garden planters. This winter, the Institute will hold four workshops for community members to help with the mosaic “chess piece” designs. In Summer 2014, they will complete the installation of the game board surface and will create game pieces for the chess board.
  • Mutt Mitt Station Installation in Bancroft Park – $550
    The Anchorage Waterways Council and the Campbell Park Community Council installed two new Mutt-Mitt stations, one on the Campbell Creek Trail by Shelikof Street and the other near Waldron Lake. A reduction in shipping costs allowed them to purchase two more stations that will be installed in Summer 2014.
  • NSAA Spencer Loop Trail Repair – $20,000
    Over the next two summer, the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage will flatten, repair, and rebuild this popular 4.5 km loop.
  • Refugee Fresh International Gardens (FIG) “Re-Fresh” Project – $2,100
    In Summer 2013, Catholic Social Services Immigration Assistance & Immigration Services worked with community and refugee volunteers, for a combined 103 hours, to replace a dilapidated plastic shed with a larger wooden shed and fix two areas of fencing at the McPhee Gardens in Davis Park. 
  • Roosevelt Park Swingset – $12,500
    In Summer 2013, neighbor Kelly Petersen focused on fundraising efforts by sending out fundraising letters, purchasing incentive wrist bands, and making presentations to the Spenard Community Council and Spenard Chamber of Commerce. She plans to continue fundraising and meeting with park planners through the winter. Construction is planned for Summer 2014. 
  • Russian Jack Golf Course Upgrades – $20,000
    First Tee of Alaska plans to replace the tee boxes and greens at Russian Jack Golf Course.
  • StoryTRACKS - $7,700
    In Summer 2013, Best Beginnings developed a logo, purchased Corex panels, researched and identified laminating options, and selected ten books reflecting different seasons, demographics, age, and outdoor experiences. Seven of those books have been disassembled and laminated to become StoryTRACKS, with the final three in progress. The program launched on July 11, 2013 at Cuddy Family Midtown Park. From launch through October 2013, 39 more StoryTRACKS events have been held around Anchorage.
  • Westchester Lagoon Landscaping and Art Installation - $20,000
    Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling (ALPAR) worked with park planners to finalize the design of the sculpture to be installed at the Westchester Lagoon confluence of the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail and the Chester Creek Trail. Preparation is underway for a community council presentation. In Summer 2014, ALPAR plans to install the sculpture along with recycle and trash bins.

 

2012 Challenge Grants

      • Total Amount Awarded from Rasmuson Foundation: $100,000
      • Total Project Value for All 2012 Challenge Grants To Date: $397,131
      • Total Number of Projects Funded: 2

Davis Park Ballfield Revitalization with Polar Little League

In the fall of 2011, Davis Park received a D on its park report card. In 2012, the Mountain View Lions Club and the Polar Little League helped make many improvements to the park. Three baseball fields were renovated, a bullpen was added, and repair work was done to the fencing and dugouts. In addition, many general site improvements were made throughout the park. With these efforts, the surrounding community hopes to boost participation in the Little League and increase use of the park.

North Russian Jack Springs Park Playground with the Anchorage School District

On June 30, 2012, volunteers gathered at North Russian Jack Springs Park to work on the already existing playground and prepare the nearby area for the incoming playground. Volunteers shoveled and raked woodchips onto the area around the playground and cleared brush from the area to improve visibility. Earlier in the summer crews removed the run down tennis courts and leveled the ground in the area to prepare for the installation of a polar bear themed playground to be completed July 2013.

 Mulcahy Rink Rebuild with the Scotty Gomez Foundation

2010 Challenge Grants

      • Total Amount Awarded From Rasmuson Foundation: $309,770
      • Total Project Value for All 2010 Challenge Grants: $1,018,975
      • Total Number of Projects Funded: 16


Anchorage Senior Center Trail Connection

A disabled-accessible trail connection was created between the Anchorage Senior Center and the Chester Creek Greenbelt.

 

Anchorage Women’s Club Historical Kiosk @ Ben Crawford Park

A kiosk was installed that will provide historical information about the Anchorage Women’s Club.

 

Thelma Bucholdt Memorial Picnic Shelter

A picnic shelter was installed in Woodland Park as a memorial to Thelma Buccholdt.

 

C St. Community Garden Improvements

A number of improvements were made to the C St. Community Gardens.

  

De La Vega Fields Irrigation Project

The Irrigation System at De La Vega Fields was updated, allowing for more efficient maintenance. 

Government Hill Hedge Rejuvenation

A long-standing hedge in Suzan Nightingale Park was trimmed so that it can regain its health.
 

 

Huffman Park Improvements

A two-day park fix-it was held in this park to address various issues, including excess brush and trails that were in poor condition. This is a Safe Route to School.

 

Kincaid Singletrack Trails

Singletrack Advocates built soft-surface, narrow trails for mountain bikers and foot traffic in Kincaid Park.
 

 Lekisch Trail Repair Project

Work was done to restore sections of the Lekisch trail in Kincaid Park.

Little Dipper Park Improvements

An Eagle Scout organized a park fix-it in this park during which a number of improvements were made.
 

 

Lyn Ary Park Fields Improvements

Improvements were made to the baseball fields at Lyn Ary Park that included the height of the fences bordering the Coastal Trail to be raised.

 

Lyn Ary Park Hendrickson Tennis Courts

The tennis courts at Lyn Ary Park were completely overhauled, including being resurfaced.

 

Minnesota Park Improvements

This project involved minor landscape improvements, painting benches and resurfacing of the tennis courts. New ping pong tables are the last phase of this neighborhood work.

  

Sullivan Arena Hockey Rink Improvements

Two new outdoor rinks are planned to be built at the Sullivan Arena.

 

 

Taku Lake Skate Park Improvements

A new piece of skateboard equipment was installed in this park. This was a successful Eagle Scout fundraising project.

  

Westchester Disc Golf Course Improvements

General improvements were made to this course that included increased signage and improved pedestrian walkways.

2008 Challenge Grants

      • Total Funding: $312,000
      • Total Matching Support Raised through 2010 in Labor, Cash & In-Kind Donations: $1,532,977
      • Total Number of Projects Funded: 16

Delaney Park Tennis Courts

Crack repair, tennis court surfacing, and installation of benches were all components of this project.

 

Baxter Bog Park

An elevated overlook was constructed, and educational interpretive signs were installed in this park.

 

FNBC Park Bridge

Repair work was done on 5 different bridges throughout the park.
 

 

Nichols Park

This park was reclaimed from its previous use as a ball field.
 

 

Scotty Gomez Hockey Rink

This neighborhood hockey rink was rehabilitated for year-round use.

 

Jodhpur Motocross Area, Kincaid Park

Electricity and safety lighting were installed at this park.

 

Reflection Point, Kincaid Park with Anchorage Rotary

The top of an old WWII bunker was transformed into a lookout point in Kincaid Park.

 

Trail Signs, Kincaid Park

This project was a part of a system-wide sign upgrade within Kincaid Park.

 

Bear Valley Neighborhood Park

The Bear Valley Community Council worked to establish this area’s first neighborhood park, now named “Bear Track Park.”

Singletrack Trails Project

Singletrack Advocates built soft-surface, narrow trails for mountain bikers and foot traffic in Far North Bicentennial Park.

 

Tanglewood Park

A boardwalk was constructed in this park allowing this wetland habitat to serve as an outdoor classroom without disturbing the fragile bog and avoiding nesting areas.

Whisper Faith Kovach Memorial Park

A new bike rack and benches were installed at this park as part of an Eagle Scout project.

 

Girdwood Skate Park

Existing skate park equipment was replaced with new obstacles designed to withstand the rainforest environment, and provide a safe riding surface for skate boarders and BMX bikers.

Art in the Parks

Event lighting was purchased for the FREEZE project.

 

Prevent the Poop

People & Pets in Public Spaces and the Anchorage Waterways Council worked to create a community solution to the problem of dog waste in sports fields.  

2006 Challenge Grants

      • Total Funding: $400,000
      • Total Matching Support Raised through 2010 in Labor, Cash & In-Kind Donations: $829,272
      • Total Number of Projects Funded: 26

Brown’s Point Park

Government Hill Community Council removed a section of parking lot pavement and replaced it with grass, installed parking barrier boulders, reseeded lawn areas, and repainted the totem pole. Landscaping was also added around the existing lilac trees.

Centennial Rose Garden

The Alaska Rose Society improved the Centennial Rose Garden in Delaney Park by installing 9 new beds. A water faucet was installed and underground irrigation was reinstalled. Heavy-duty edging was installed around the pruned rose hedge. As a result of these improvements, maintenance on the beds is easier.

Didlika Park

Turnagain neighbors, community council volunteers, and an Eagle Scout worked together to improve this pocket park by reestablishing grass and foliage, and adding a historical sign and art element. 

Fairview Lions Park

Volunteers expanded the community pavilion, created a new community garden, planted new trees and perennials, refurbished the volleyball and multi-use field, and much, much more. The community garden and pavilion will become focal points for the neighborhood, bringing people together and fostering stronger neighbor relationships.

Peratrovich Park

The Anchorage Park Foundation helped raise funds to install a statue titled Flight of the Raven, by Roy Peratrovich Jr., in Roy and Elizabeth Peratrovich Park. 

Quiyana Park

The Winterberry Charter School Parents Guild made improvements to this small downtown park including visitor amenities, irrigation infrastructure, and play items to make the park usable and welcoming to visitors and residents. Volunteers planted a living willow fence, weeded and replanted the beds along 1st Avenue, added new picnic tables, a garbage can, boulders and play areas. 

Abbott Loop Park

Simonian Little League used Challenge Grant funds to install an irrigation system in the ballfields at Abbott Loop Park. As part of the ballfield improvement project they also erected fences, installed batting cages, purchased and installed storage units, ran electrical service to the fields, improved and relocated bleachers, improved and relocated the temporary concession building, completed infields and warning paths, purchased and installed pitching rubbers and bases and home plates on all four fields, and purchased and installed protective fence top coverings

Bartlett Pool

Central Area Swimming purchased and installed a new LED scoreboard for Bartlett Pool, installed October 2006.
 

Campbell Creek Trail

Firefighters’ Union Local 1264 and MOA’s Animal Care Shelter combined to donate $1,200 between them. Four Dog Stations were installed along the 2.5 mile Campbell Creek Trail corridor. This has profoundly improved trail cleanliness and contributed to user friendliness on this high use trail.

Jacobson Park Trail

Rogers Park Community Council improved a trail in Jacobson Park for pedestrian use with the help of an Eagle Scout.

Williwaw Park

Russian Jack Community Council installed playground equipment in Williwaw Park on June 22, 2006. This grant provided funds for landscaping and a trail through the park.

Sand Lake Dock

The Anchorage Rowing Association purchased and installed a fl oating dock, 7’6” wide by 45’long, angling off the existing dock ramp. This new dock allows rowers to put their boats in the lake from a dock, rather than by wading into the water.

Rabbit Creek Trail

The Rabbit Creek Community Council and the Anchorage Trails & Greenways Coalition established a trail system in the Rabbit Creek Greenbelt. Volunteers used this grant to improve trail safety.

Richter Trail

The Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage reconstructed the Richter Trail to provide a classic-only trail loop in the Hillside trail system. The new connector trails from the Bog Trail to the Ridge Loop have been completed. 

Bancroft Park Playground

Anchorage East Rotary installed playground equipment for three to five year olds (purchased in a previous year) in Bancroft Park. They held five volunteer work days. 

 

Girdwood Playground

The Girdwood Playground Committee installed a playground at Girdwood Park on May 31, 2006.
 

Tree & Shrub Plantings

Anchorage TREErific planted trees and shrubs at Abbott Loop Park, Lyn Ary Park, Turpin Park, Fairview Lions Park, and Meadow Creek Park. Volunteers have continued to water and maintain these trees to ensure the success of their initial project investments.

United Way

The Anchorage Park Foundation, Municipality of Anchorage and the Fairview Community Council partnered with United Way of Anchorage to host a Day of Caring event to restore and enhance three neighborhood parks and the Recreation Center in Fairview in spring. The two-day event brough 600 volunteers together to help on more than 30 projects in Fairview Lions Park, Fairbanks Park, and the Anchorage Senior Center.

Pool User Facilitation

An anonymous donor agreed to fund a series of facilitated meetings with the pool user community. The Anchorage Park Foundation Board voted to meet that donor challenge
halfway with unused Challenge Grant funding. The facilitator played a major role in bringing the different parties to the table to discuss the future of municipal pools, resulting in a clearer understanding of each others’ needs.