The Settlers Bay Coastal Park will receive $200,000 in infrastructure development work after a unanimous vote by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly this week.
The 295-acre park will include cycling, walking and skiing with a continuing easement for a historic transportation route on the tidal flats. Among the goals for the park are to preserve the forested character of the site and to create non-motorized activities such as a starting point for the Junior Iditarod and fat tire bike races.
“The Coastal Park was accepted last year,” said Assembly Member Dan Mayfield before the vote Tuesday. “If you haven’t hiked it, it is a gorgeous piece of property… And it does have a trail plan, and this will see that a portion of that vision will come to fruition,” said Mayfield who represents the Knik-Fairview area.
Photo is in front of the Coastal Park of hayflats and sloughs before the Chugach Range by Patty Sullivan, MSB Public Affairs.
Future infrastructure includes more trails, a main gated entrance, trailheads, pavilions and restrooms in the north and south of the park, with a scenic overlook planned for the view of the golden grassy flats and the Chugach Mountain Range.
The park includes some infrastructure: an access road and parking area, three miles of trails, an RS2477 transportation route in the tidal flats along the base of the bluff including a bridge over Crocker Creek. Called the Wet Gulch Trail, it was used to access the Willow Creek Mining District from the town of Knik.
There are 1,000 homes within one mile of the park, located near the Settlers Bay Golf Course and overlooking the flats of Knik Arm. The land was purchased for $1.4 million by the non-profit Great Land Trust last fall and donated to the Borough for park development.
Mayfield introduced an amendment that was adopted. The Great Land Trust will provide a cash match of $50,000 through the purchase of goods and services. The Borough will provide $50,000 in-kind match for staff time, use of recreation services equipment such as a bobcat, ATVs, and mini excavator. The non-profit Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation is donating $100,000. The total for the project, to date, is $200,000.
Attached is the Park Development Plan Map. The Coastal Park gets its name from the close proximity through the birch trees to the salt water of Knik Arm.
The park development work is expected to begin in the spring.