Palmer Community Foundation is pleased to announce the seven recipients of its 2021 competitive grant cycle. PCF awarded $20,850 to promote health and wellness, food security, and economic development in the Palmer area. PCF uses proceeds from its permanent endowment to award grants that support charitable organizations and programs in Matanuska River communities.
$6,000 was awarded to Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers (VMBaH) to develop three new downhill mountain biking trails in the Government Peak Recreation area. VMBaH wants to develop various trails to keep our riders local and attract non-local riders to our area. The trail design will allow beginning mountain bikers the opportunity to develop their riding skills and confidence. Advanced riders will enjoy the technical trails with flow, berms, and jumps.
Hatcher Alpine Xperience is building a permanent ski patrol building at the top of the Skeetawk ski area to serve as a warming facility for staff and patients. PCF is granting $5,000 to build the pilings for the ski patrol building and deck. The building will also serve summer mountain biking operations, events, and lodging in the long term.
Mat-Su Ski Club experienced massive growth during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic to its Adult Learn-to-Ski Program. Their classes filled up fast, and they did not have enough equipment to keep up with demand. They will purchase classic cross-country ski equipment with a grant of $3,250 from PCF. Quality gear will help participants succeed and is crucial to their enjoyment of the sport. People are more invested in their community when they have good trails and outdoor recreation opportunities to enjoy.
Connect Vets supports the successful transition of veterans by promoting health and wellness in their skills center and vocational training courses. With a grant of $2,500, Connect Vets will hold four metal fabrication workshops. The workshops will provide valuable occupation training for vets and allow them to connect with others in our community. Connect Vets will work with local nonprofits and organizations to produce needed items for the Palmer area, such as metal batting cages for Palmer Little League.
The mission of Alaska Farmland Trust is the permanent protection of Alaska’s limited agriculturally viable soils. This is a crucial need in Palmer as families continue to relocate to the Valley from Anchorage, putting pressure for development on open spaces and active farming properties. Alaska Farmland Trust is creating informational videos for each of its protected properties. The videos will clarify the mechanics of what they do and how it benefits our community and Alaska as a whole. PCF is supporting the creation of one of these videos with a grant of $2,000.
Mat-Su Trails and Park Foundation (MSTPF) received $1,500 to create a digital Palmer Outdoor Activity Guide. MSTPF will also publish Palmer-specific activities and event spotlights on the OuterSpatial trails app. The guide will increase the knowledge of recreation in our area and provide physical and mental health opportunities in the outdoors.
Alaska Veterans and Pioneers Home will create three welded sculptures for their yard with a grant of $600 from PCF. The sculptures will be lit during the dark winters to encourage residents to enjoy the outdoor walk and view the lights. Developing features of interest in the back area of the Retirement Home will increase the residents’ physical and mental health, particularly during the dark winter months.