Did the MSB ever actually build the promised Matanuska Riverfront Trails (North and South)?
These two trails were included (along with other trails) as part of the 2016 $22 Recreation Bond.
The Matanuska Riverfront Trail (North) is supposed to link the Old Glenn Paved pathway to the Mat River Park and the athletic fields (Little League complex and soccer fields) and the Palmer Railroad trail.
The Matanuska Riverfront Trail (South) is supposed to be a 10 mile trail connecting the Mat River Park to the Palmer Golf Course and the Palmer Hay Flats and the future Visitor’s Center (way down by the Parks/Glenn intersection.)
These sound like amazing trail projects.
However, in the fall of 2018, the MSB transferred $1 million away from the 9 trails projects because it said the money was needed for the Wasilla Pool renovation. (See “Money Go Round” Post for more details.)
The MSB explained its change of plans in this press release dated September 19, 2018:
Note the last sentence above – The Mat-River North/South Trail work was completed in-house, the land acquisition work is complete with available funds.
Um – if this trail work was completed in house – WHERE ARE THE TRAILS?
I’m pretty sure that if there actually was a brand new 10 mile trail connecting the Mat-River park to the Palmer Golf Course and Hay Flats, there would have been a lot of hoopla and a ribbon cutting ceremony and a few PR videos or press releases.
And many people would have walked on it!!
UPDATE: I did find some additional info in a Manager’s report online. (These manager’s reports are issued infrequently and months late by the way.) See below.
This note doesn’t say what Mat River trail this is exactly…I highly doubt it is the promised 10 mile trail to the Hay Flats….A 10 mile ADA compliant 6 foot wide trail with crushed gravel is not something that a few summer Parks and Recs employees can build with zero funds.
Here are the newest updates from the GANTT chart prepared for the April 2019 Parks and Recs and Trails board meeting: