While things may have seemed quiet to many, a lot has been happening behind the scenes the past month or so.
1. Trail signs. The new Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation has approved the trail sign proposal submitted by the Matanuska Greenbelt Trails Association in cooperation with Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers. This includes funds for the trailhead sign structures (the wooden and metal part) and signs (the part with the information), gateway kiosks (larger posts with metal map), and the remainder of the directional signs. This is mostly on MSB, MSC, and Farm properties with State Parks providing their own signs as part of the match. We have some additional cash match also.
State Parks has had their maintenance crew install two structures (upper campground at Matanuska Lake and private Kepler Park), but no actual signs yet. They've removed some of the old bollards that weren't being used. Their trail crew will work on removing other bollards and relocating some as gateway kiosks as time opportunities present themselves (= snow or nasty weather in Hatcher Pass so they can't work there). They also need to install a few more direction sign posts.
Mat-Su Borough trail crew will take the lead on building the structures for the other properties. Yes, the MSB has a trail crew now with a year-round leader! (Many of you saw the proposal that Mark Gronewald submitted for some new trails in the Greenbelt Central area.) They will start working on the structures in a couple weeks as well as installing posts in CMT and along Long Lake Connector. (prior commitments at Eska Creek with an SCA crew in the meantime)
Matanuska Experiment Farm may start on their kiosks when not harvesting or working on Ag Day.
As soon as we get some posts installed, I'll work on finalizing signs and may need some help with proofreading. That takes about 2 wks (late Aug - early Sept). Depending upon how we hit the sign maker with their workload, it could take 2 wks to 2 months to get the signs made. Once we have the signs, we can usually install in a couple days, weather permitting. I'm hoping we can have everything done by late September or October.
There's still a lot of work to do, but we should be past some snags now, we hope.
2. Matanuska Experiment Farm Agriculture Appreciation Days. Tomorrow, Thurs 8/11 noon to 7pm. A couple people have asked how to get to the farm with the new roundabout. Take the Georgeson Drive exit - 1st one coming from Parks Hwy; almost all the way round coming from Palmer-Wasilla Hwy. When leaving Palmer-Wasilla Hwy, you take the new Trunk Road, not the one by Three Bears, even though they both say "Trunk Road".
We do hope our trail directional signs are more clear than DOT's road signs. ;)
Ag Days is a way for the Farm to make people more aware of agriculture in the state, more specifically as to what is actually done at the Farm. (yes, it's a real farm, which just happens to have some nice trails.) It includes a self-guided tour of the farm trails (map with marked locations) with a few features located along the trails. If you've wondered what the Farm does, now is your chance to find out.
and if you'd rather have a marked route for your first time on farm trails, there's a Farm Fun Run (free, but no amenities other than timing; 4k, 10k options = 2.5mi, 6.1mi) starting at 6pm. Come early (5:30pm) to sign up.
Start line will be just up the hill above the Dunk Tank.