Chugach Foothills Park needs our help again

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A big, grassy field anchors this popular neighborhood park on Pioneer Drive. It’s used for playing frisbee, flying kites and model airplanes and drones, for teaching kids about football and cheerleading, for soccer and cricket games, for knights from the Society for Creative Anachronism to practice medieval fighting skills and more. On summer weekends it’s popular for birthday parties and for multiple, simultaneous group picnics and family barbecues.

A 25-car parking area added when Pioneer Drive was upgraded in 2014 relieved parking congestion. Flowers that grew in the Pioneer Drive median were moved to a new entrance garden at the front of the park. A picnic pavilion has sheltered picnics since 2003; a “coals bin” made barbecues safer.

A half basketball court and a volleyball court (an Eagle Scout project) and a play area with swings and other play equipment is centrally located so visitors can keep an eye on the kids while they barbeque in the park. A lighted trail for walkers and cyclists and skateboarders runs through it. Park benches, so supervising adults don’t have to sit on the ground, were added to the playground during a 2009 make-over.

One much-needed amenity is something for kids to climb on (instead of climbing on top of the picnic shelter or hanging on the volleyball net). The original piece of play equipment has become dilapidated and has probably reached the end of its useful life. There is a sledding hill that gets year around use.

Vegetation, last thinned and cut back in the 2009 make-over is again in need of thinning and pruning. The 2009 make-over made use of volunteer crews from Home Depot, local churches, Boy Scouts and Scenic Foothills Community Council volunteers, along with community service crews and Parks & Beautification.

Funds from the 2017 Parks and Recreation bond are available to upgrade the playground in the summer of 2018. Neighbors who live close to Chugach Foothills Park or spend time in it are encouraged to join the discussion of what should be done, and how, to make this popular park even better.

One more thing that needs to happen to help keep this park safe from graffiti and vandalism is neighbors who are willing to observe and report activity that should not be happening in our parks. Trail Watch and community patrols are groups that can help neighbors learn to be pro-active in protecting parks. Send e-mail to sfcc@alaska.net to add your name to the list of neighbors interested in helping. There’s always room in the crew!