Gerald "Jerry" Bailey also 2022 Volunteer of the Year.
THANK YOU TO Jerry, Sharon and Dan Winter, and Allyson Parker-Lauck for their incredible support and volunteerism. We are indebted to all of them for their generosity, enthusiasm, and efforts to make the Nature Center a wonderful place for people to visit.
Thank you all for attending and supporting the Nature Center’s OCTOBER NIGHTS AUCTION this past weekend. We hope everyone had a great time at 49th State Brewing with our band HWY9 and our auctioneer Dan Newman.
Thanks to all of you and those who bid during our online silent auction, we met our goal of raising $50,000.00 with over $18,000 “For the Cause” to construct a new public use cabin in memory of Erin Johnson. We are grateful for your incredible generosity.
Congratulations to our youngest Bear Bell Heads or Tails winner, 7 year old Jacob. Wow! We’ll see if he’ll take his parents along to Hawaii compliments of our multi-year sponsor Alaska Airlines.
Thank you to all of our generous community donors for making the live and silent auctions possible. Thank you to our table sponsors: ConocoPhillips, Hilcorp Alaska, Northcountry Stoves, Sharon and Dan Winter, Chris and Carl Lundgren, Julie Saupe, and Anita Nelson.
Betsy Ward and Hans Farnstrom joined us this summer as our resident volunteers after falling in love with Alaska on their previous trips. We've been fortunate that they have also fallen in love with the Eagle River Nature Center. They both love the outdoors and sharing their enthusiasm for it with visitors. We thank them for all the work they do serving the public and representing the ERNC. Kudos to you both!
Here's what Becky has to say: "I visited the Nature Center last winter and fell deeply in love. Not long after my trip, I found myself applying to be a resident volunteer and then June came around and I bought a one-way ticket! ERNC is an absolutely magical place and I am so grateful to be here."
Thanks to receiving a Recreational Trails Grant, we have been able to begin working on a trail to connect the Lower Parking Lot to the Nature Center. The new lot has been great for providing additional parking and increasing safety (less people are now parking on Eagle River Road). It has also been instrumental in allowing people with disabilities to access the Rodak Nature Trail and Viewing Decks. They can now bypass the steep section of the trail that begins behind the Nature Center.
The new trail design and construction is spearheaded by Blaine Smith (with Alaska Trails) along with our staff trail manager Gus Gustafson. The original "sneaky trail" that existed in that location was used by volunteers to quickly access their cabins. The intent of the new trail is to make it as safe and easy as possible for those parking in the lower lot to reach the Nature Center. The large crib stairs with handrails is slated to be completed by mid-July.
We cannot thank our trail crew volunteers enough. So many of them have come out daily to help with the backbreaking work of digging and moving dirt and rocks. THANK YOU Jerry, Joe, Mike K, Mike, Pat, Sheri, Dan,Ruth, Daniela, Paul, Lyndon, Tom, Hank, Ruth, Kate, Betsy, Elaine and Marc.
The Salmon Viewing Deck has been rebuilt and ready to enjoy. In the next weeks we'll let you know when the contractors will be staining it. At that time it will need to be closed off for a few days.
What's still left? The interpretive displays are in design and production, along with additional benches. We hope to have a grand opening ceremony to honor all our business, foundation and individual sponsors in August or September 2022. We'll keep you posted.
Friends of Eagle River Nature Center
Gratefully Acknowledges the Generous Support
Of the Following Donors of the
2022 Reconstruction of the Salmon Viewing Deck
Major Corporate Sponsor
Major Individual Sponsor
Terry S. Lauck and Allyson Parker-Lauck
JD, Dana and Jacob Batove
Tom Iverson Family
Julie K. Jessen and John Clifton Passmore
Dore and Kevin Meyers
Bill Schmid and Sue Spyker
Stephen and Sarah Wright
Thank you to all our Dick Griffith Matching Donors and For the Cause Donors of 2021-2022 who contributed to this project. Special thanks to the State of Alaska for providing a legislative grant to make the reconstruction possible and to Golder Associates, Inc. and Dakota Drilling, Inc. for their geotechnical work.
The new Salmon Viewing Deck steel piles were driven into the ground a few weeks ago and the team from Kuchar Construction are doing a fantastic job on the decking. Below is a photo of the progress taken on 4/15/22.
We'd like to thank a few more of our financial sponsors who have helped make the new deck possible: The Gorm Family and Beth Baker. We are grateful to the preliminary pro bono work that was completed a few years back by Golder Associations (Andrew Daggett, Engineer) and Dakota Drilling.
We'll keep you updated of the progress.
Many thanks to our volunteer trail crew for keeping all the decks shoveled, the trails groomed and the cabin and yurts stocked with firewood. We love our trail crew!