Next meeting is April 18, 5:30pm, at the Farm, upstairs lab. That may be our last formal meeting of this winter, but informal meetings continue as people have time amidst trail and farm work.
1. Job Corps finished our other two trailhead structures, and they’re at Mat-Su College waiting for installation. Thank you, Job Corps! Exact location and time for installation will depend on the College’s new construction (Snodgrass Hall expansion, PAC construction, water project, and access / flow roads around all this). I’m going to try to get together with MSC folks in the next week or so about a couple different things with the trails.
2. Breakup. We’re developing some kinder / gentler signs for breakup to make sure everyone (foot, bike, dog, and horse traffic) recognizes that breakup suggestions apply to them. We’ll list some suggested places where people can use trails or strategies people can use locally to minimize impact on trails. These would include the paved bike paths and Alcantra and hardened part of West Butte. Trails are firmer in the morning and on north-facing slopes. Most years, the farm roads dry out before other areas. And some trails are better drained than others.
These comments resulted in suggestion that maybe we need a firm / hardened / well-drained trail in MGT that people can use during breakup without having to go elsewhere. This is something to consider in our trails plan. Hopefully, keeping responsible folks on the trails will reduce the vandalism opportunities.
3. Trails Plan. There’s things happening on a few different fronts that may affect how we proceed with this, but we should know some of this by our next meeting. In the meantime, a few of us will work on this creating a strawman / backbone to be revised by others.
As a start for the plan, we identified things that are valued in the Matanuska Greenbelt: contiguous green / open space, non-motorized, all users respecting each other, and recognizing the varied experiences that people want (quiet place away from things to competitive races and many things in between). We also want to recognize the natural (glacial landforms, vegetation, wildlife including birds) and cultural heritage (homesteading, agriculture) of the area, which is what makes this area so special. While there’s been a number of educational activities over the years – informal, regular classes, and group activities – it would be great to make more of this available to the general public, esp. when considering tourists and local residents who are unfamiliar with the history. Nature trails and science learning centers have been mentioned in the past.
We started a list of existing activities about 7 yr ago when working on the Farm master plan and will be adding to this. We’ve been accumulating a list of documents / plans, etc that are relevant to this area from all the land managers. (I just don’t have them organized yet.) All of them recognize the trails to some extent.
4. Mooseberry Stampede Mountain Bike Race will be Sat June 9 as part of Colony Days again. Proceeds of this race (above expenses) go to trail projects in the Greenbelt.
Enjoy the sun and hope for a gentle breakup, but remember we can still get snow in April or May.
Meeting Summaries >