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Planning for the Future of Eagle River Nature Center – Open House

EAGLE RIVER, Alaska - The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation (Parks) in partnership with the Friends of Eagle River Nature Center (ERNC) announce a Community Open House will be held from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm on September 17, 2009 at the Eagle River Nature Center.

Working together Parks and ERNC initiated a planning process that will result in a Master Site Plan. The Master Plan will illustrate the physical locations and relationship of landscape features to present and proposed facilities and form the basis for future use and development of the Eagle River Nature Center.

The open house will give the community the opportunity to ask questions, express concerns and react to the Site Locations and even make suggestions.

In order for parks to choose a Site Location from our alternatives that provide the greatest benefits for all Alaskans, public participation is essential to the planning process.  The agencies are seeking input and comments from the public on current or future Site Locations relevant to the Scope of the project and the Goals and Boundary Conditions as developed by the Friends of Eagle River Nature Center.

Scope
- This project is meant to promote educational programs compatible with the mission of the Eagle River Nature Center while furthering the educational and interpretative opportunities available to the park visitors. We also want to develop new facilities inside Chugach State Park boundaries while promoting the preservation, protection of the historical natural and recreational resources within Chugach State Park. Provide for the daily operation of the Nature Center and provide a base for future growth to meet demand.

Our Goals and Boundary Conditions

o   Provide Safe and Adequate Parking to reduce pedestrian/vehicle/ traffic conflicts and provide non-interrupted access for our neighbors to their homes and driveways. (Keeping in mind our design vehicle will be a school bus, 53' recreational vehicle, pick-ups and passenger cars)

o   Trail Access for various visitor groups i.e. backcountry hikers, skiers, program participants, school groups and self-guided visitors.

o   Provide full Accessible Program and trail system meeting ADA and barrier free requirements

o   Maintain the character/atmosphere of the existing Nature Center

o   Maintain and enhance existing Interpretive Programs

o   Address Inadequate Space and space conflicts for visitors, volunteers and staff.

o   Develop a visitor center Maintenance Facility which will be screen visually and audibly from neighbors, Nature Center area and entrance area/ parking.

Your written comments are encouraged during the site location selection process.  Comments may be submitted no later than November 2, 2009 by mail, email or fax to:

Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation
550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1340
Anchorage, AK 99501
Fax: (907)269-7506
E-mail: Lucille.Baranko@alaska.gov

For more information contact: Lucille Baranko at (907)269-7506 or by email: Lucille.Baranko@alaska.gov

To learn more about this process, visit the ERNC Web site at: http://www.ernc.org/press-releases.html

Posted Sept. 9, 2009

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