Mulling boulders: Soldotna starts talks about new feature

Soldotna Parks and Recreation is toying with the idea of adding a bouldering feature to Soldotna Creek Park to bring more activities into the park, while adding to the park’s aesthetics.

“With Soldotna Creek Park, we’re trying to get more uses in that park,” said Parks and Recreation Director Andrew Carmichael. “So we looked and thought that a big rock in there could be aesthetically pleasing and functional. It would break up the overall open space and it would provide another reason for people to come out to Soldotna, to get out and climb.”

The rock wouldn’t just be a run-of-the-mill rock. Bouldering rocks are built for free-climbing, since they aren’t tall enough to require straps or harnesses.

Although there is not a formal proposal, Council Member Keith Baxter said a more robust proposal may be coming.

“The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board discussed possibility of putting in some bouldering features at Soldotna Creek Park, one or maybe two features,” Baxter said. “Unanimously, the advisory board supported the development of that idea.”

Currently, Parks and Recreation is in the first step, deciding whether or not to pursue the idea by gauging public interest.

“Right now it’s just a ‘wow, we need to do this,’ but we drew the concept up and we’re working with the bouldering community and seeing if there is community interest.”

Carmichael likened the bouldering feature to the Soldotna’s latest addition, Three Friend Dog Park, which had an abundance of community support and has been seen as a huge success.

“If the community support is there, then funding is usually able to be attained somewhere or other,” Carmichael said. “It would be a really exciting project.”

Reach Kat Sorensen at kat.sorensen@peninsulaclarion.com

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