WASILLA — The Settlers Bay Coastal Park will receive upgrades beginning in the spring after the Mat-Su Borough Assembly voted unanimously to award $50,000 in staff time and equipment use for the construction of the park.
The land that the park sits on was bought by the Great Land Trust in the fall of 2018 and donated to the Mat-Su Borough. The Great Land Trust has donated a cash match of $50,000 through the purchase of goods and services and the borough matched that with its donation. The Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation donated $100,000 of its own, and the project total to date is $200,000.
The current Settlers Bay Coastal Park features three miles of trails that can be walked and biked, or skied in the winter, and covers 295 acres of land. The plan calls for more trails, pavilions, bathrooms at the north and south end of the park, and a scenic overlook of the Knik River. The Great Land Trust purchased the land for a price of $1.4 million before donating it to the borough. From trails along the inlet, the often-elusive Cook Inlet Beluga Whale can be seen at times. The plan for trail development calls for a balance between public access and protection of existing resources. No discharge of firearms will be permitted on the park.
The borough hopes to maintain trails that connect to other trails so that the park can be accessed without a motor vehicle, and one day become the starting point for the Junior Iditarod or fat tire bike races.
Contact Frontiersman reporter Tim Rockey at firstname.lastname@example.org.