A sign welcomes employees and visitors at the Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

A sign welcomes employees and visitors at the Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna community garden and trail project moves forward

The garden trail would be housed on a 7-acre portion of a borough-owned plot near SoHi.

A community-led effort to build a Japanese-style garden and trail is moving one step further after the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly voted last week to enter into a community trail management agreement on borough land within Soldotna.

The garden trail, which will be built and managed through Shimai Toshi Garden Trails Inc., would be housed on a 7-acre portion of a borough-owned plot near Soldotna High School.

The assembly voted seven to two on the ordinance authorizing a 20-year agreement with the borough and the Shimai Toshi Garden Trails Inc. Shimai Toshi Garden Trails Inc. is a nonprofit organization made up of community members who want to see a new green space, and promote “mental health and educational opportunities through community activities, gardens and trails,” the ordinance said.

The ordinance is the first phase to create a garden trail. The organization was awarded a $20,000 grant they intend to use to create the garden and trails. The organization would develop, maintain and manage the community garden and trails.

Assembly members Norm Blakeley and Brent Hibbert voted against the authorization of an agreement. Hibbert said because of current fiscal uncertainty, the borough may want to keep the land in case they need to sell it later.

Assembly member Brent Johnson said he would back the ordinance because “an active group of people” came to the Feb. 25 borough meeting in support of the ordinance.

Assembly member Jesse Bjorkman also supported the ordinance, saying nothing in the trail agreement would stand in the way of the borough selling the parcel.

The ordinance is the first phase toward the garden’s completion, authorizing Mayor Charlie Pierce and the borough to enter into a trail and garden management agreement. The next phase will look at the garden and trail’s development.

More in News

COVID-19. (Courtesy the CDC)
Anchor Point man dies out of state from COVID-19

The state of Alaska reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday on its website.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a Friday, April 3, 2020 press conference in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)
State recommends wearing face coverings in public

Number of Kenai Peninsula cases grows to 10; state tally rises to 157

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink participates via teleconference in the state’s daily press briefing on the new coronavirus on Monday, March 30, 2020. (Courtesy photo)
State changes website, COVID-19 reporting

The state’s case daily count will be based on the numbers reported as of 11:59 p.m. the previous day.

Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion
                                Soldotna’s Sheryl Nelson and her son, Robert, ski at Tsalteshi Trails on Tuesday, just outside of Soldotna.
Breath of fresh air

Challenges, pleasures of staying active during coronavirus threat

The RavnAir kiosk stands empty at the Kenai Airport on Thursday, April 2, 2020. The company announced Thursday they were cutting all service by 90%. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Ravn cuts air service by 90%

The group will maintain service to their “essential” air service communities, including Kenai, Homer.

Nikiski man faces sexual abuse, attempted murder charges

The man is being held without bail and is facing 22 charges.

Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum presents at a press conference addressing the extension of two mandates issued by Gov. Mike Dunleavy in response to the spread of COVID-19, on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Courtesy photo)
10 COVID-19 new cases reported, mandates extended

Eatery dine-in services, bars and entertainment venues to be closed indefinitely.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and borough administration building is closed on March 26, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough to hold emergency meeting Friday

The meeting will not be open to the public to enforce social distancing and recent health mandates.

The entrance to the Kenai Police Department, as seen in Kenai, Alaska, on April 1, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
How will mandates be enforced?

Police ask for public to use common-sense, follow guidelines

Most Read