Community input requested for Glacier facilities design

The U.S. Forest Service invites the community to participate in design meetings beginning 6:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Juneau Ranger District conference room at 8510 Mendenhall Loop Road.

The meetings, or charettes, are opportunities for the community to give their input on how to improve the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area facilities with an eye towards sustainability and increased access.

“We look forward to designing recreation facilities that meet our burgeoning demand for access to the Mendenhall Glacier” District Ranger Brad Orr said in a press release. “We need smart solutions that balance an overwhelming demand to see the glacier by people with varying levels of ability with the needs of salmon, bears, birds and other sensitive resources that require protection.”

The first charrette is a collaborative session in which designers and others draft a solution to a design problem. A second charrette will take place the following week and others will be held later as the process progresses.

“Our contractor, Corvus Design, will facilitate multiple charrettes over several months,” Forest Service Landscape Architect Eric Ouderkirk said. “This will be a collaborative effort to look far ahead, even 50 years out, at a vision for this very popular recreation area.”

The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center received 550,000 visits during the summer of 2016, and according to Director John Neary, “We need improvements to traffic flow, trails, viewing platforms, covered viewing areas and food venues.”

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