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Opinion: We urge voting yes on Prop 2

Investing in Juneau’s trails, cabins, and sports fields makes it a better place to live and recreate.

  • Lexie Razor and Mark Pusich Juneau Families for Youth Recreation
  • Tuesday, August 30, 2022 1:21pm
  • Opinion

We believe recreation, sports and healthy outdoor activities are fundamental building blocks of a strong community. That’s why we are urging a yes vote on Proposition 2 in the October municipal election.

Whether it’s watching wildlife along one of our breathtaking trails, cheering on your kid’s sports team, or toasting marshmallows over the campfire at a quiet cabin in the woods, all of these activities bring friends and families together. They help make Juneau the special place we love.

Proposition 2 would invest up to $6.6 million into trail improvements, a new public use cabin and improved playing surfaces for our young athletes. A yes vote supports more healthy outdoor activities for all of us, especially kids and families. It is an investment in our quality of life and our future. It is a vote to strengthen our community.

Specifically, this bond would pay for needed improvements along Juneau’s much-loved trail system, which is used by everyone from runners and hikers to dog owners and families with small children. Trails are also an important part of Juneau’s visitor economy, which attracts people from all over the world to experience this gorgeous landscape that we call home. With over 200 miles of trails spread across all neighborhoods, our trail system makes it easy for people to experience the proven physical and mental health benefits from spending time in nature.

This bond would also cover the cost of a new, easily reached public use cabin to be built along the road system. Anyone who’s recently tried to book a cabin for a family outing knows how popular they’ve become — and how great it would be to have another option. Cabins offer an economical escape from town and a welcome change of scenery. They are the go-to places for Juneauites to celebrate special moments and to bring visiting friends and family members. Another accessible cabin like the Amalga Cabin will allow more of us to spend the kind of time together that makes for lasting memories.

Proposition 2 would also fund long-overdue upgrades to the running track and ball field at Adair-Kennedy Park. The track, home to youth and high school meets, is worn and needs resurfacing. The current sand-and-gravel baseball field will finally be turfed — and redesigned for use by both youth baseball and softball. Teams in Anchorage and Fairbanks have played on turf fields for years. Sitka turfed its main high school ballpark a decade ago and last fall Ketchikan voters overwhelmingly approved a bond to turf their baseball and softball fields. Juneau has a legacy of strong youth and high school sports teams. Our athletes deserve better and safer playing conditions.

Juneau Families for Youth Recreation is a new group formed to advocate for this measure and for future recreational improvements in the community. Our supporters include trail enthusiasts, park advocates, business owners, doctors, Little League, the Midnight Suns softball and baseball clubs, runners, parents, coaches, former coaches, players, and former players.

Trail Mix Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to developing and maintaining a safe and enjoyable Juneau trail system, also urges a yes vote on this bond issue. As does the Juneau Park Foundation, which supports a healthy and thriving system of parks and recreational opportunities in Juneau.

All of us believe that investing in Juneau’s trails, cabins, and sports fields makes our community a better place to live and recreate. CBJ is drafting the final language for Proposition 2 and will have a sample ballot available soon. It will be available on the municipal website at juneau.org/clerk/elections.

We urge your support for trail improvements, a new public-use cabin and better recreational facilities for our kids. We believe Proposition 2 is a win-win-win for Juneau families and we respectfully ask for your yes vote on Oct. 4.

• Lexie Razor is head coach of the JDHS softball team, vice president of softball for Gastineau Channel Little League and spokeswoman for Juneau Families for Youth Recreation. Mark Pusich is board president of Trail Mix Inc. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

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