The Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area (KMTA) Board of Directors recently awarded 14 grants, a total of just over $90,000 in funding, at their May 2021 Zoom meeting. The awarded amount was a combination of publication, community, and 3-year programmatic grants. The newly awarded grants will leverage around $148,000 of in-kind community support and are listed below:
3-Year Programmatic Grants
Chugach School District for the Whittier Community School Outdoor Leadership Program; Whittier Outdoor Leadership School gets kids from Whittier outside exploring their natural environment and doing community service projects. The funds will go toward gear and instruction for Whittier students to explore and engage in the KMTA region.
Four Valleys Community School for funding that will help make the FVCS programming affordable and provide support through the slower winter months.
The Seward Parent Teacher Association for the Kids to Slopes program. In an effort to prevent drug use, Seward Kids to Slopes Program will take kids skiing. Between ski trips education will be provided on different topics about the KMTA region using the Trails Through Time Curriculum.
Mapping Solutions was awarded $8,800 for the creation of a cultural Historical Map of the KMTA region, It will highlight landmarks and the history for visitors and locals alike.
Community Based Grants
State of Alaska Division of Natural Resources – Alaska State Parks was awarded $8930 to improve and install new interpretive signs at the Kenai Lake boat launch in Cooper Landing.
Seward Chamber of Commerce was awarded $3,210 for their Silver Salmon Derby Project, which will digitize historical records of the Seward Silver Salmon Derby helping to preserve and archive the records online. It will also fund an interpretive sign on the derby kiosk at the harbor.
Seward Prevention Coalition was awarded $7,638 for their HYPER Children’s Museum project; an interactive children’s museum of a mining camp that can be taken down and moved to new locations.
Girdwood Trails Committee was awarded $7,370 for the Stumpy’s Winter Trail Interpretive Signage project. They will add an interpretive sign about Stumpy’s Winter Trail at the Arlberg Trailhead Parking lot. This would be a continuation of trail sign projects KMTA has funded in the Girdwood Valley.
Four Valley Community School was awarded $5,786 for support of the FVCS Summer Program. The program takes kids on adventure camps including rafting, tide pooling, and exploring their environment. Funds will ensure the continuation of this program.
Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association was awarded $7,081 for an update and expansion of interpretive materials at Trail Lakes Hatchery. The project will update interpretive signs and install a new trash can and picnic table in the hatchery’s roadside pavilion.
Hope Inc. was awarded $9,115 for the upkeep and preservation of Hope’s Historic & Public Spaces; They will install a new woodstove and Toyo heater in the Hope Social Hall and make improvements to the public bathrooms.
Girdwood Nordic Ski Club was awarded $10,000 for their 1969 Jr National Historical Ski Race Sign; The club will install an interpretive sign that tells about the 1969 Junior Nordic Ski Race held in Girdwood. These signs are already on the 5k Nordic Loop Trail. It would include rehabilitating the old signs from the race that are hung throughout the woods.
Alaska Huts Association was awarded $3,422 for their Manitoba Cabin Floor Renovation project.
Moose Pass Public Library was awarded $10,000 for the Seward Depot, Zudy’s Cafe Restoration project. Zudy’s Cafe is partnering with Moose Pass Public Library to restore the exterior of the Historic Seward Depot building, improve lighting, and move hazardous rail ties.
KMTA receives and administers federal funds to support locally initiated community projects. Through KMTA’s Community-Based Grants Program, the organization works to enhance, preserve, and protect the historic, cultural, scenic, and outdoor recreational resources of Alaska’s only designated National Heritage Area.
Past projects funded include an award-winning high school curriculum, new museum exhibits, trail restoration, interpretive signage, citizen science programs, and historic building restoration. To see past projects click here.