2019 Community Challenge Grant Projects

Anchorage Park Foundation awards nearly $250,000 in grants to community park projects

Every two years, APF invites the community to submit their ideas for a park or trail improvement project in Anchorage. Successful ideas are awarded with a dollar-for-dollar matching grant for the energy volunteers put into their project through cash donations, volunteer labor, and in-kind materials or services.

Through the generous support of the Rasmuson Foundation, Challenge Grants offer a way to achieve community priorities to improve a park or trail that would not otherwise be funded through the Municipality of Anchorage. Ultimately, these projects increase the sense of community in neighborhoods by bringing a lasting capital investment into our park system.

Projects are big and small, including fundraising for a new skate park at Taku and a program to build free little libraries in parks across Anchorage. Find a park or trail improvement project happening near you and learn how you can get involved!

Bonnie Cusack Memorial Rink Center Upgrades – $40,000
Anchorage Skate Club

Anchorage Skate Club will rally community support for a variety of improvements for spectator amenities at the rink and overall work towards the redevelopment of the facility. Additional improvements include security and upgrades and landscaping improvements.

Centennial Park Eagle Scout Project – $2,600
Boy Scout Troop 144

This project will install new signage at one of the only campgrounds in the Anchorage Bowl. Eagle Scout Paul Cvancara will replace identification plates for campsites as well as make fixes to informational signs at the park’s entrance

Chester Creek Single Track – $5,000
Hans Thompson

Anchorage’s newest single track trail will receive new signage through this Community Challenge Grant project. Community member Hans Thompson will generate support for the project through volunteer events across town to remove the invasive european bird cherry tree for our city’s parks and trails.

Far North Bicentennial Park Sled Dog Trail Safety Signage – $4,000
Alaskan Sled Dog & Racing Association

With so many trails in the Far North Bicentennial Park, there seems to be something for every kind of trail user out there. During the winter, some of these trails are groomed and maintained by the Alaska Sled Dog Racing Association (ASDRA) and are designated by the city for use by dog mushers only. Sled dog teams are fast and have difficulty stopping for anything in their way, so ensuring the trails are clear for mushers is crucial. 

This year APF awarded a Community Challenge Grant to ASDRA to provide new signage to in Far North Bicentennial to clearly delineate which trails are designated for mushers only. Once there is enough snow to groom, ASDRA volunteers will install the new signage, making this a safer winter for both sled dogs and all trail users.

Folker Park Reflexology Path – $21,000
Alaska Reflexology Association (AKRA)

This project will create an artful and therapeutic reflexology path at Folker Park. Phase 1 construction of Folker Park has completely transformed the once-neglected UMed Park into an inviting space for neighbors, students, and medical patients in the community. The path helps to realize the park’s theme as an “intergenerational health and healing park.” Volunteers with the Alaska Reflexology Association will be responsible for designing and constructing the path. Learn more about how you can support the path here.

Girdwood Lower Iditarod National Historic Trail – $5,000
Girdwood Trails Committee

Girdwood Lower Iditarod NHT is the next step in completing the overall vision to create a continuous trail from the Girdwood valley entrance to Crow Pass Trail. Phase 2 segment is approximately 1/3 of a mile and will improve the section of trail from Ruane Rd to Karolius Road. This project will help to transform a social trail into a more accessible path for users. Work will be completed next summer to improve sightlines, improve drainage, and create a new hardpacked trail surface.

Little Free Libraries in Parks – $3,500
Best Beginnings

Forget to bring your book to a park? Looking to share one of your favorite reads? Best Beginnings is embarking on a new pilot project to install new free little libraries in parks throughout Anchorage. Best Beginnings is seeking sponsorships from local businesses, organizations, and neighbors for each Little Library. Little Free Library cost $530 for materials and volunteers will be needed to help with construction. Email us if you are interested in sponsoring a Little Free Library in a park near you!

Moen Park Exercise Equipment– $20,000
Grace Johnston

Neighbor Grace Johnson is seeking help from the community to invest in new adult fitness equipment in Moen Park. Positioned high on the Hillside on Golden View Drive, Moen Park is a beautiful place to catch a view of Anchorage. Once her fundraising goal is met, neighbors will have a new healthy recreation opportunity in one of the most scenic parks in Anchorage. Support the Moen Park Improvements

Rabbit Creek Park Trail Improvements – $40,000
Dan Fleming

The project will improve a popular social trail in Rabbit Creek Park into a permanent gravel trail with signage, dog waste disposal stations, and landscaping improvements. The trail will be completed in summer 2020 by Youth Employment in Parks crews.

Spenard Beach Park Improvements – $10,000
Turnagain & Spenard Community Councils

Spenard and Turnagain Community Councils are teaming up to provide a much-deserved update to the popular picnic spot. This historic park, located in the Lake Hood Floatplane Base Airport area, is a favorite spot for tourists and neighbors alike to watch the activities at the busiest floatplane base in the world. The Community Councils will be raising funds and organizing volunteer events to provide new benches, trash cans, and other new amenities for the lakeside park.

Taku Lake Park Skatepark Renovation and Expansion – $40,000
Blue & Gold Board Shop

Jason and Kelly Borgstede, owners of the South Anchorage’s Blue & Gold Board Shop, will be raising funds for major improvements for Taku Lake Skatepark. Located just off the Campbell Creek trail, the skatepark is already a much-loved asset for the skater community. However, the equipment at the park is in need of an update and there’s potential for Taku to become a destination skatepark for skaters across Anchorage. With the addition of other funding sources, the park will be transformed into a 5-8,000 ft concrete skatepark at the same site as the current equipment. Support the Taku Lake Skatepark Renovation and Expansion

Woodside (Eastchester) Park Improvements – $17,000
Fairview Community Council

Fairview Community Council is working on several improvements at Woodside or Eastchester Park to provide a unique “Fairview neighborhood identity” for the park. The neighborhood is raising funds and organizing volunteer events to support sprucing up the park through aesthetic improvements at the park. The community is currently in the process of finalizing their vision, but improvements will include artful visual wraps for utility boxes and tree plantings at the park.

Curious about a project? Want to know how you could get involved?
Contact at us at info@anchorageparkfoundation.org 

The Community Challenge Grant program is made possible through the generous support of the Rasmuson Foundation