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Maps and Signs

The first collaborative project begun in 2009 in the Matanuska Greenbelt was to develop trail maps for trail users and to provide signs at major intersections to help users find their way back to their cars - not always easy on unsigned urban spaghetti loop trails. The goal was to make the system friendlier for all users. Maps were enhanced from an initial GIS database. Most importantly, a Buy-a-Post program was started to raise funds for signs. It started out hoping to get funds for about 20 posts to sign a corridor between Crevasse-Moraine and Matanuska Lake Trailheads and has reached over 50 donors in 3 years. People cared about the system. We had two grants - MSB Bed Tax Grant and Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation grant - to help with materials costs. Land managers provided labor for most of the heavier work, and volunteers helped with the tedious task of designing and installing signs. At this point (Dec 2012), there are 92 posts with almost 250 directional signs; 12 gateway posts with small maps; and 8 trailhead posters for over 30 mi of trail across five properties. The reputation of the area is being transformed from one where people can get lost for hours to being fairly friendly. We anticipate this project will be ongoing as new trails or reroutes are built, and new map products are developed.

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