2017 Community Challenge Grant Awards
In Spring 2017 the Anchorage Park Foundation approved $200,000 in community challenge grants for 16 community groups committed to improving Anchorage parks and trails! Projects include:
Bartlett High Swimming Pool Timing System – $5,000
Central Area Swimming is raising cash and in-kind services for a new timing system and scoreboard for Bartlett Pool. The new equipment at Alaska’s only 50 meter Olympic-sized pool will bring it into compliance with competitive USA Swimming regulations for the 4,000 swimmers and athletes who compete there.
Far North Bicentennial Park Nature Preserve Signage – $750
Ann Gabler will install discreet signage for a quiet nature preserve within Far North Bicentennial Park that uses existing wildlife game trails used by park users. Signage will advise park users of the resource protection and natural character of the park area.
Fairview Park Improvements – $20,000
Folker Park Fitness Equipment – $12,500
Friends of Folker Park and Providence Horizon House are leveraging the public’s recent municipal bond support for health- and healing-themed park improvements at Folker Park and raising funds for an intergenerational fitness equipment area on the west side of Folker Park.
Girdwood Beaver Pond Trail – $8,250
The Girdwood Trails Committee will improve a 1/2 mile rough drainage section of the Beaver Pond Trail, the non-motorized trail which connects the Bird to Gird trail along Turnagain Arm with Crow Creek Road.
Girdwood Skate Park Renovation – $5,000
Friends of Girdwood Skate Park and the City of Girdwood will rebuild the Half Pipe Ramp with storage closet, build an information kiosk, and add safety features to the existing ramps in the park.
Hillside Park Singletrack Expansion – $10,000
Singletrack Advocates will build an additional 6 miles of one-directional singletrack bike trail that will interconnect with the existing Hillside STA trail system. This will bring 2.7 miles of advanced trails and 3.3 of intermediate trails to the system.
Victims for Justice, with the help of Anchorage Downtown Rotary, will replant the Tree of Life currently located on the Delaney Park Strip, repair and replace the memorial honoring victims of violent crimes at Hostetler Park, provide a safe and accessible pathway to the memorial and improve the park for visitors.
McPhee Community Gardens & Gardens at Bragaw – $1,500
Boy Scout Troop #214, with leadership from troop members Robert Allen and Steven Carraway, will build and install wooden garden plot markers for the McPhee Community Gardens at Davis Park and the Gardens at Bragaw.
Muldoon Town Square Park Community Garden and Orchard – $24,000
The Northeast Community Council park committee will build garden beds, install fences and create signage for a new community garden space and orchard for East Anchorage’s first “food forest” at Muldoon Town Square Park.
Ruth Arcand Park Northwest Improvements – $20,000
Sand Lake Park Lakeside Learning Lab – $20,000
South Anchorage Sports Park RC Racetrack – $10,000
Whisper Faith Kovach Park Enhancements – $13,000
Neighbors and friends of Whisper Faith Kovach Memorial Park are leveraging the public’s recent municipal bond support for playground safety enhancements and a fenced dog park with tree plantings and park amenities to increase the community feel of the park.
Wolverine Park Learning Lab – $20,000
Campbell Elementary School students in partnership with Schools on Trails will bring educational improvements and trail upgrades to nearby Wolverine Park. Campbell is the first STEM elementary school in Anchorage, and the park will have an outdoor learning lab for hands-on nature education opportunities.
2016 Community Challenge Grant Project
Challenge Grant award funding: $18,000
Number of Projects Funded: 1
- Chuck Albrecht Fields – $18,000
Anchorage Sports Association is constructing a new 900 square foot restroom, vending, and storage building at the fields serving 3,500 slow-pitch players and spectators.
2015 Community Challenge Grant Projects
Challenge Grant award funding: $230,699
Number of Projects Funded: 16
- Kincaid Nordic Ski Holders – $856
Eagle Scout candidate George Cvancara will construct Nordic ski holders at Kincaid Park.
- Fishing Line Collection Stations – $1,500
Anchorage Waterways Council will build and install collection stations for used fishing line at various fishing spots in parks around Anchorage.
- Ship Creek Trail Wayfinding – $30,000
Anchorage Community Land Trust will install wayfinding signs along Ship Creek trail, including wayfinding to Davis Park and the connection to the Glenn Highway bike trail to Eagle River.
Anchorage Skate Club will renovate the warming shack at the Bonnie Cusack Memorial Outdoor Rink Center at Chester Creek Sports Complex.
- Singletrack Trail Improvements – $10,000
Singletrack Advocates will perform aintenance and improvements to existing singletrack trails at Hillside and Kincaid Park.
The Alaskan Sled Dog Racing Association will perform maintenance and upgrades to bridges in Far North Bicentennial Park.
- Chugach Foothills Connector – $20,000
The Scenic Foothills Trails User Group will construct a trail connecting the Scenic Foothills neighborhood to Far North Bicentennial Park.
- Russian Jack Springs Park Learning Labs – $21,050
The Anchorage Schools on Trails Program will construct learning labs at Russian Jack Springs Park near the connection to Nunaka Valley Elementary School.
Eagle Scout candidate Ferris Allen will install a dog waste collection station at Chugach Foothills Park.
The Alaska Speedskating Club will install a public address and speaker system at Cuddy Family Midtown Park.
- Girdwood Tennis Court Rehabilitation – $10,000
The Girdwood Tennis Committee will rehabilitate the Girdwood tennis court.
- Historic Iditarod Trail Improvements – $17,882
The Girdwood Trails Committee will improve tread and drainage on a portion of the Historic Iditarod Trail.
The Schools on Trails Program will rehabilitate the Westchester Lagoon Nature Trail and improve it to facilitate instruction along the trail.
- Barbara Street Park Revitalization – $15,500
Eagle Scout candidate James Allen and community member Schawna Thoma will revitalize Barbara Street Park by painting, cleaning, and installing new toddler play equipment.
- Benches for All – $21,700
Intrinsic Landscapes Llc. will design and install three sculptural communal seating areas in parks yet to be determined.
- Bike Data Collector – $30,000
2013 Community Challenge Grant Projects
Challenge Grant award funding: $254,187
Number of Projects Funded: 20
Project Value for 2013 Challenge Grants so far: $790,720.26
- 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
- Anchorage Tennis Association Net Replacements – $15,723
- Arctic Benson Park Improvements – $40,000
Neighbor Karen Dechman and 175 volunteers participated in the Arctic Benson Fix-It days in the summers of 2013 and 2014. A new fenced dog park was created and the playground was upgraded. They plan to work with Parks & Recreation planners this winter to finalize further improvement plans for the summer of 2015, including improving accessible pathways in the park.
- 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.
- Didlika Park – $4,050
The Polynesian Association of Alaska organized three volunteer clean up days and various landscape improvements were completed at the park.
- Kincaid Park Jodphur Trailhead Kiosk – $4,000
In Summer 2013, Eagle Scout George Cruikshank and 23 volunteers performed tree limbing, removal of signs, painting, and landscaping to refurbish the informational kiosk at the Jodhpur trailhead. In Summer 2014, he installed a boulder bench near the kiosk.
- 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.
- Little Dipper Park Viewing Area – $6,000
In Summer 2014, Eagle Scout Candidate Brian Durr and 20 volunteers built and installed 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 132 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. In Summer 2014, a Youth Employment in Parks crew completed a soft-surface trail in the park, and plans were made for construction of a new playground to be completed in Summer 2015.
- 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 2015.
- 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. In winter, the Institute held workshops for community members to help with the mosaic “chess piece” designs. In Summer 2014, installation of the mosaics continued, and installation will be completed in summer 2015. Through volunteer time, in-kind donations, and cash donations, the group has so far raised almost $25,000 in match!
- Mutt Mitt Station Installation in Bancroft Park – $550
The Anchorage Waterways Council and the Campbell Park Community Council installed three new Mutt-Mitt stations, one on the Campbell Creek Trail by Shelikof Street, another near Waldron Lake, and one at Arnold Muldoon Park.
- NSAA Spencer Loop Trail Repair – $20,000
The Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage flattened, repaired, and rebuilt this popular 4.5 km loop. The group was able to obtain an Alaska State Legislative Grant along with various other cash and in-kind contributions that resulted in a match of over $120,000!
- 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. In Summer 2014, Petersen and 42 volunteers participated in a fix-it, cleaning up the park and completing the installation of the swingset.
- Russian Jack Golf Course Upgrades – $20,000
First Tee of Alaska replaced the tee boxes and greens at Russian Jack Golf Course. They also placed yardage markers and tee box signs. With the help of 12 volunteers and a significant amount of in-kind donations, the group raised over $30,000 in match!
- 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 were held around Anchorage with many more to come.
- Westchester Lagoon Landscaping and Art Installation – $20,000
Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling (ALPAR) worked with park planners to finalize the design of a kinetic sculpture at the Westchester Lagoon confluence of the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail and the Chester Creek Trail. ALPAR used predominantly recycled materials in the design of the plaza surrounding the sculpture, and installation of a recycling bin is planned. Through cash, in-kind and volunteer contributions, ALPAR raised over $120,000 in match!
2012 Community Challenge Grants
Challenge Grant award funding: $100,000
Number of Projects Funded: 2
Project Value for 2012 Challenge Grants: $397,131
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
Challenge Grant award funding: $309,770
Number of Projects Funded: 16
Project Value for 2010 Challenge Grants: $1,018,975
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.
A picnic shelter was installed in Woodland Park as a memorial to Thelma Buccholdt.
A number of improvements were made to the C St. Community Gardens.
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.
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.
The tennis courts at Lyn Ary Park were completely overhauled, including being resurfaced.
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.
A new piece of skateboard equipment was installed in this park. This was a successful Eagle Scout fundraising project.
General improvements were made to this course that included increased signage and improved pedestrian walkways.
Challenge Grant award funding: $312,000
Number of Projects Funded: 16
Project Value of 2008 Challenge Grants: $1,532,977
Crack repair, tennis court surfacing, and installation of benches were all components of this project.
An elevated overlook was constructed, and educational interpretive signs were installed in this park.
Repair work was done on 5 different bridges throughout the 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.
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.
This project was a part of a system-wide sign upgrade within Kincaid Park.
The Bear Valley Community Council worked to establish this area’s first neighborhood park, now named “Bear Track Park.”
Singletrack Advocates built soft-surface, narrow trails for mountain bikers and foot traffic in Far North Bicentennial 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.
A new bike rack and benches were installed at this park as part of an Eagle Scout project.
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.
Event lighting was purchased for the FREEZE project.
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.
Challenge Grant award funding: $400,000
Number of Projects Funded: 26
Project Value of 2006 Challenge Grants: $829,272
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Rogers Park Community Council improved a trail in Jacobson Park for pedestrian use with the help of an Eagle Scout.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.