As a former recipient of the Rasmuson Foundation‘s Artist Fellowship grant, I regularly receive their updates as to ongoing grant activities by the Foundation. In reviewing their most recent mailing, I was pleased to see that the Great Land Trust had been awarded a $100,000 grant for infrastructure development of the Campbell Creek Estuary Natural Area. In 2008, I went out to the estuary with Dave Mitchell from the Great Land Trust to photograph the property to aid them in fundraising for its purchase. At the time, it was owned by a family trust, and the Great Land Trust was seeking to purchase it to set it aside for conservation – just one of many wetlands in the area that the Trust has targeted as prime habitat for conservation over the years.
In 2010, when they were near reaching a deal with the city regarding the purchase, Mayor Dan Sullivan rescinded the deal, claiming that the land would be better used for private development. Fortunately, the Great Land Trust was later able to convince him, the purchase was accomplished, and the new Campbell Creek Estuary Natural Area was created. What is missing to allow it to be fully used by the public is some parking, trails, a kiosk, and other infrastructure. With this grant money, the Great Land Trust will be able to fulfill its vision, and Anchorage residents and visitors will soon be able to enjoy this new, incredible access to the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge.