This website is maintained by Friends of Bicentennial Park to provide information on Anchorage's Far North Bicentennial Park.
Anchorage's Far North Bicentennial Park was dedicated in 1976 for the following reasons:
A quarter of a century later, Anchorage's new Comprehensive Plan reaffirmed that the overriding value in Anchorage remains "we value natural open space." When we determine how land in Anchorage is used, we should look at ways to maintain natural open space while meeting the other needs of the community.
Friends of Bicentennial Park is committed to keep these lands in a natural state for the benefit of future generations.
This website is always "under construction." The Park is "under construction," too! Far North Bicentennial Park is often considered "free" land for any number of projects. Just natural open space waiting to be developed!
The biggest green area on the map at the right is Bicentennial Park. On the north it is bordered by Tudor Road. On the south by Abbott Rd. On the west it is mostly bordered by Abbott Loop Road. On the east, it is bordered by Chugach State Park. The large white area in the center is the Bureau of Land Management's Campbell Tract facility.
It's a big Park! This Park really makes Anchorage a special place to live. While it is far from being undeveloped, it is full of places where you can go and feel like you are far away from the crowded metropolis.
In creating this park, the Anchorage Assembly adopted in 1974 the Far North Bicentennial Park Master Development Plan as the "Official Plan for these Parklands". The 1974 plan is part of the requirements attached to the land when it was transferred by the federal government. The 1985 Updated Master Plan confirms that "the subsections of this updated plan contain recommendations in concert with the intent of the 1974 document.
The objectives of the Park mandated in these plans are:
Those are lofty goals and have resulted in a Park that is immensely popular. The area is crisscrossed with trails used for skiing, dog mushing, running, biking, walking, horse riding... you name it! Some of the trails are 40 feet wide and lit for winter skiing, others are thin tracks, closed in and quiet. There's a beginner downhill ski area and a horseriding concession. The entire area is heavily used all year long.
It is big, but Bicentennial Park gets smaller every year as more and more people vie for less space. The Bragaw extension forced the dog mushers into areas others now use. The "East 48th" Extension will creat a new park boundary south of Tudor with more overpasses and underpasses for trail users. The Extension of Dowling will reroute trails users more. The potential expansion of the Hilltop ski area will squeeze the park from the southeast corner and require replacement trails. Ballfields fields knocked off the southwest corner. As Anchorage grows, well need more undeveloped park land, not less.
The many thousands of users of Bicentennial Park make up a large but unorganized group with a quiet voice. Small, well organized groups make their voices heard over ours. If you like it wild and open for multiple users, you have to pitch in and work as hard as the people who want to turn it to their own single uses.
For a little history of the development of Far North Bicentennial Park, click here.
For information on the size of the Park, click here .
Paving, clearing and striping the road to the Campbell Creek Science Center?! Should the road be paved with asphalt instead of the "high float" hard surface it has now? Information is here. Comments are due August 6, 2012.
Trails Plan for Far North Bicentennial Park All the fuss over the ski club widening the trails a few years ago showed the need for a sensible plan for putting in new trails in FNBP. The plan is completed. Take a look at comments submitted by FOBP.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Avenue
48th Roads Extension)
Now called the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, this road was originally proposed in the Tudor Plan as a winding 2 lane road. Now a 4 lane arterial will cut through the north part of the Park! Click that link to see a bird's eye view of the route. The recommendations for trails and connectivity in the FNBP Trails and Pedestrian Circulation Study Phase 1 area have been completed. Click here for more info.
Tudor Road Area Plan This Plan deals with the land at the north end of the Park along Tudor. This land will be between Tudor and the Boniface/E 48th Extension when that is completed. The land this plan addresses looks like Park land now, but it is zoned "PLI" for a variety of public uses. The Park master plan put strict criteria on what can be done there. It looks like those are being ignored.
Anchorage Water and Wastewater
Utility water pipe through the Park.
The final segment of AWWU's Loop water Transmission Main may be routed through Bicentennial Park to connect the water tanks on Tudor Road with the tanks off Abbott Rd next to Service High.
Invasive Plants! This is a new kind of tourist! More and more non-native plants are invading Anchorage and causing problems for our native plants and wildlife. For some info on these, see the MOA Weed Warriors website and the Alaska Committee for Noxious and Invasive Plants.
This road was battled over for many years. It opened Friday December 14, 2007. Click here for information on the Bragaw Extension.
Dowling Road Extension & Reconstruction Project
Every road breeds more roads. Before Bragaw was extended, plans were already made to conect it to Dowling. This road is in the planning stage now and construction is scheduled for 2008. For more info: www.eastdowling.com . What will be next?
Bicentennial Park (Full Brochure 2.65MB)
Hillside Trails The Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage (NSAA) Trails Group built a new classic skiing only trail to connect Service High with the Richter Loop. This includes smoothing and some widening of the Richter Loop.
Dog Mushers get squeezed. Construction of the Bragaw/Abbott Loop Extension forced the Alaska Sled Dog & Racing Association (ASDRA) to find a new location to start races and they had to reroute their trails.
The Anchorage Bowl Parks Plan provides minimum standards for levels of services and facilities that will guide where Anchorage spends its Park dollars. While the plan acknowledges broad support for wild open space, trails and undeveloped park land, its heavy emphasis on comparisons with "benchmark" cities and their parks drags the report towards a bias for developed parks and buildings and the huge costs that come with them.
Park Land for sale? The city's proposed Land Use Map released in Spring of 2006 suggested that part of Bicentennial Park could be put up for sale. emails from Friends of Bicentennial Park to city planners and others got a quick correction. An editorial in the Anchorage Daily News also made the case to withdraw the suggestion that we should be selling off park land.
Anchorage Parks and Recreation Survey shows overwhelming support for open space parks and trails.
The 1st wave mailing of the survey was conducted Feb 18, 2005, reminder phone calls to complete the survey were made March 21, the 3rd and final wave was mailed April 5. Over 300 surveys were returned for a 21% response rate
Take a look at the Anchorage Parks & Recreation Survey 2005. If you are in a hurry, skip to pages 8 and 9.
The Far North Bicentennial Park Trail Users Group meets the first Monday every month at the BLM offices off Abbott Loop road at 6:20pm. Click Here for recent agendas and other notices.
No Mitigation for the Simonian Little League Complex? To give balance to the dramatic change in the Park Plan when the Simonian Little League fields were approved, an agreement to add a similar amount of land to the Park was included as "mitigation." In 2005, three years later, freshman Assemblymember Dan Coffey challenged that agreement. Click here for more info!
Loop Community Park (or Simonian Ballfield Complex)
When the ballfields were approved, there was a promise that additional land would be added to the Park. On January 10, 2006 the Anchorage Assembly approved land to be added as the mitigation. Voting against the ordinance were Dan Sullivan, Chris Birch and Paul Bauer.Ordinance No. AO 2005-58.
Having been utterly defeated in the battle for the southwest corner of the Park, in some ways maybe we should be happy getting anything. 27.5 acres for mitigation seems sparse, though. That's particularly true when the mitigation is also for the Chuck Albrecht fields. That's double dipping!
But the giving doesn't end for the ballfields! This "least cost" site is sure sucking up the dough! The State House approved in the '05-06 budget another $500,000 for the ballfields!
The site plan for the new ballfields was approved in March 2004. Click here for more info: Lost Corner
The picture at the right shows former Mayor George Wuerch at the Abbott Loop trailhead as clearing for the Little League complex is about to begin on February 10, 2003.
Little League Fields
Baseball took a bite out of the Park! A group requested 25 acres in the Park to build Little League Baseball fields at the Abbott Loop Road trailhead. This turned into an unfortunate battle with the wild park losing. For more information click on Simonian Little League.
in the Park
The threat of wildfire in Anchorage caused by the spruce bark beetle epidemic has lead to some strategic, and some not so strategic, clearing in the Park. For more information, click here.
BLM Land Up for Grabs? Good news!? Uh-Oh ..........
The Municipality of Anchorage and State may may try to gain control of this land. See BLM Land for more information on this issue.
Hilltop Ski Area is a small beginner ski area in the Park. The company that operates the area planned to more than double their slopes. The area they planned to clear-cut is mostly flat and unsuitable for downhill skiing. It is an excellent area for other year-round uses. There is alot of information on this issue if you follow the links.
Click Here for Info on
"Proposition 1 Hilltop Expansion" from April 4, 2000.
Click here to see Hilltop's New Lease and progress reports
in the Park?
Wireless communication requires lots of antennas. Should antennas be allowed in Bicentennial Park?
Click antennas for more info.
A letter to the editor can inform lots of people. Write one! They prefer 250 words or less. E-mail your letter to:
The Anchorage Daily News at email@example.com
The Eagle River Star firstname.lastname@example.org
If you'd like to read letters concerning the Park written with various various viewpoints, click the links below:
Letters regrading Hilltop's Expansion
Letters regarding the Simonian Little League
For a look at pictures taken along the parts of the Spencer Loop trail that will be clear cut for Hilltop Downhill Ski Area, click here.
If you have, pictures, email them and we'll post them!
Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage
Arctic Orienteering Club
Arctic Bicycle Club
Hilltop Ski Area
Anchorage Waterways Council
Anchorage Voter Info.
Campbell Creek Science Center
Anchorage Citizens Coalition
For info on Urban Parks and why we need them
For contact information for people who make decisions concerning Bicentennial Park, click on contacts.
A letter to the editor can inform lots of people. Write one! They prefer 250 words or less. :
The Anchorage Daily News at email@example.com
The Eagle River Star firstname.lastname@example.org
Anchorage Municipal Assembly members. For email addresses go to our Contacts page.
Stay informed! Add your name to our contact list! email Sandra Talt and she'll add you to the list!
Send email to everyone you know and ask them to look at this site.
Put our link on your website! Copy the icon and send people our way!
It takes money! We need some of yours! Print this form and send us a check! Donation Form
Stay informed! Get on the FOBP maillist. Click Here!
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