Challenge Grants

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

Grantee Forms:

In 2013, we awarded 20 challenge grants totaling $257,672. Challenge grants show true Neighbor Power! by engaging passionate groups to participate in improving parks and trails, increasing community stewardship.

For every $1 raised by community groups grantees (through cash, volunteer time, donations, grants, or in-kind services), Anchorage Park Foundation matches that $1 for the improvement project.

The next Challenge Grant application period will be in early 2015 – stay tuned!

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.