Fairbanks enacting Master Plan for future of Pioneer Park

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 3:40 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks North Star Borough is enacting a master plan for the future of Pioneer Park.

According to Donnie Hayes, Riverside Superintendent for the Fairbanks North Star Borough, the master plan covers various aspects to improve and preserve Pioneer Park. “Pioneer Park is just over 50 years old, and so it’s just a moment for us to be able to look at the options that we have for the park - but also more importantly to look at the future of the park. Part of that master planning process that we’re working through is looking at how do we maintain what we have currently, and then what are we going to have in the future? So, this is a plan to look at the next 10 years of the life cycle of the park. Projects, maintenance, opportunities, those types of things are all part of this master plan in the process.”

As part of the actions being taken for the various projects on the park, Hayes says surveys have been enacted for both residents and park visitors to leave their input.

“So, we’ve begun doing surveys - we have two different surveys out there. We have a survey for our residents and a survey for our visitors. Both of those are out there and available. If folks want to be able to do one of these surveys they are welcome to go to fairbankspioneerparkplan.com, and there they can do the resident survey. Or if they’re at the park they can check one of these signs out, hit the QR code, and fill out the visitor’s survey while they’re here at the park. So that’s one step. We also have multiple meetings, community meetings that we’re involving folks with. We’ve done multiple interviews with some of the tourist organizations, with our major user groups in the park, so we’re just trying to do a full reach-out to make sure that we are hearing and listening to the needs of the community.”

With Pioneer Park being over 50 years old, Hayes says the goal is to preserve it for future generations to enjoy. “Really the major focus of this plan is, how do we make Pioneer Park usable? How do we maintain what we have? How do we make sure the S.S. Nenana is here for years to come? How do we make sure the cabins - many of them are over a hundred years old - are still sitting there in 10, 15, 20, 30 years from now? Really we’re trying to focus on our history, and kind of the thought process is that our history is our future - so we are really trying to make sure that we’re maintaining those, and that is one of the most integral pieces to the plan.”

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