DATE: January 31, 2009

TO: Federation of Community Councils/All Community Councils

FROM: Holly J. Spoth-Torres, Park Planner

SUBJECT: REVISED FNBP Draft Trail Improvement Plan Release

Project Scope

Far North Bicentennial Park (FNBP) is Anchorage's largest Community and Natural Resource Park, providing year-round outdoor recreation opportunities for the entire Anchorage and its surrounding communities. The park is home to the Hilltop Ski Area and over 100 miles of multi-use trails, and important connections to Chugach State Park. The park has over 1 million visitors each year, contributing to the social, economic and the ecological well being of Anchorage.


As trail use increases, trail maintenance needs increase. Trail user conflicts, both during winter and summer, also continue to increase. The FNBP Trail Improvements Plan evaluates the trails within FNBP to determine their condition and current use, and develops classifications and specifications for various types of trails. The Plan also evaluates the need for new trails and trail improvements; trailhead and parking upgrades; increased way finding and interpretive signage; and other public amenities that will enhance the park as a four-season recreation facility. The outcome will be a comprehensive trail improvement project list.


Goals for this project include:

Maintain an undeveloped and rural feel within the park;

Accommodate all types of non-motorized users;

Provide a wide variety of experiences, via many different types of trails;

Provide opportunities for bicycle and other commuters to efficiently pass through the park;

Respect wildlife and its known or discovered wildlife corridors;

Create a set of construction and maintenance guidelines, allowing the Municipality to manage these activities (regardless of who does the actual work);

Gather information on existing trail conditions, to determine how those trails should be managed into the future;

Determine funding sources for future management, including construction and maintenance;

Create a general plan for additional trails within the park; and

Establish a framework which can be applied to trails throughout the Municipality's jurisdiction.

Project Progress to Date

Project Scoping: January 2008

Baseline information was gathered through extensive stakeholder meetings with various trail user groups, adjacent landowners and the general public. A steering committee was formed and met for the first time.


Public Comment and review of Project Scoping Summary: March 2008

The project team compiled all information collected in January and presented this information to the public for review and comment. Meetings were also held with the steering committee, a technical advisory committee and adjacent landowners. Additional ideas and comments were received and incorporated.


Field Work, Trail Condition Assessment, June - August, 2008

P&R hired a summer intern to collect field data on existing trail conditions in FNBP for a development of a GIS system to facilitate trail management.


September 8, 2008: Open House Public Meeting as part of the FNBP User Group Meeting

The project team gave an update to the user groups and the public regarding the status of the Plan. The public was encouraged to comment on the current version during the public comment period.                   


To view any materials presented at open houses or meeting notes, please visit


Remaining Project Schedule

March 2, 2009

The Draft Trail Improvements Plan will be released for public review on March 2. The steering committee has met previously to discuss the Draft Trail Improvements Plan and outreach plan and provide feedback to the project team. The project team will present the draft plan to the FNBP User Group and the public on March 2, at the Campbell Creek Science Center at 6:20 p.m. Written comments on the draft plan will be accepted through April 29.


April 9, 2009

The Project Team will present the Draft Trail Improvements Plan to the Parks & Recreation Commission as an information item on April 9. There will be no public testimony at this meeting. 

April 29, 2009

Comments received by April 29 will be presented to the Parks & Recreation Commission on May 14.

May 14, 2009

The Draft Trail Improvements Plan will be slated as an action item at the Parks & Recreation Commission meeting on May 14. Public comments received prior to April 29 will be discussed at this meeting. The Parks & Recreation Commission will take oral public comment on the draft plan at the May 14 meeting.


 Summer 2009

The Trail Improvement Projects will be finalized based on direction from the Parks & Recreation Commission. Implementation of the Plan will begin.

Project Comments

The Parks & Recreation Department encourages the public to submit written comments on the

Draft Trail Improvements Plan by April 29 so that they can be reviewed and discussed with the

Parks & Recreation Commission on May 14. We encourage Community Councils to schedule the plan for discussion in March and April so that any comments can be submitted by April 29.


Comments will continue to be accepted until April 29.

Comments can be made by e-mail,, by fax at (907)563-3953 or by submitting a written

comment to:


Attn: Alison Lohrke

4041 B Street

Anchorage, AK 99503




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