New Project – Settlers Bay Coastal Park
Great Land Trust is currently fundraising to purchase this land to create a new recreational asset for the community, and we need your help!
Thanks to everyone who came out to our Settlers Bay Fundraiser! We had great weather and a fun time meeting everyone. We had a goal of raising the last $40,000 needed to purchase this property and make it a park, and we’re almost there! If you weren’t able to make it to the event but still want to show your support, you can donate here.
A New Coastal Park for the Mat-Su
Alaskans know that proximity to great trails, clean water, public lands, and fish and wildlife are vital to our quality of life and community. With GLT’s latest project, Settlers Bay Coastal Park, we hope to provide access to all of these assets by creating the Mat-Su’s newest park. However you like to access our public lands – on foot, by bike, on skis, through binoculars, or from the end of a fishing pole – there’s no doubt that Settlers Bay Coastal Park, once developed, will have an experience for you.
Throughout this summer and into the fall, Great Land Trust will be working with local homeowners, the community, the Mat-Su Borough, and other partners to develop a shared vision for the property – ultimately ensuring the public’s access to the trails, salt marshes, and fish and wildlife habitat forever. Once purchased, GLT will donate the land to the Mat-Su Borough to be managed for habitat and recreation.
Natural Features of the Property
Settlers Bay Coastal Park is a 295-acre property in the Knik-Fairview community that has a little bit of everything that makes public lands in Alaska so unique. Some of the features found here include:
– Beautiful mixed spruce, birch, and poplar forest with rolling terrain that is south facing. Known by locals as “Sunny Knik,” this area of the Mat-Su enjoys almost year-round sun.
– Well drained soils that are optimal for trail development.
– Spectacular views of the rugged peaks of the Chugach Mountains to the south, and the Talkeetna Mountains to the north, as well as views of the Knik Glacier.
– Ocean front property. Though Knik Arm is not considered the ocean by most, it is in fact the northern end of the Gulf of Alaska.
– Salmon viewing. Coho and Sockeye salmon use Crocker Creek and Lucy Creek which flow through the property. Cottonwood Creek is close by and supports a limited sports fishery for Coho and Sockeye salmon in the summer.
– Wetlands, salt marsh, and estuarine habitat, as well as forested uplands provide viewing opportunities for wildlife, migratory birds, and marine animals, including the elusive Cook Inlet Beluga Whale.
Something for Everyone
Once developed, visitors of all ages and physical abilities will be able to enjoy the park and find outdoor recreation opportunities suited to their needs. Settlers Bay Coastal Park will be a year-round haven for recreationalists. With this project, we hope to provide:
– A safe recreation area away from vehicle traffic with easy walking, running, biking, and ski trails, picnic areas and scenic viewing platforms, and interpretive signage documenting the cultural and natural history of the area.
– Sustainably built trails with occasional seating and viewpoint enhancements.
– A place for travelers and tourists to stop for a long nature walk or a quick coastal photo opportunity.