19 December 2021

Alaska Is a Homer Run!

Written by: David Castro

My fortnight in the 49th state concluded with a wonderful final chapter!

While the team traveled inland to Delta Junction during the first leg of the work trip, for Week Two the group drove southwest to Homer, a small city on the Kenai Peninsula. Because of the fantastic planning by the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) and the National Park Service – Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (NPS-RTCA), everything went smoothly! Along with Zach Babb, the Program Manager for the NPS-RTCA Alaska Region, Lizzy Dean and Morgan Urquia joined for the Homer portion of the journey. Lizzy is a Community Planner and Morgan is a Community Planning Fellow. Both work in the same office as Zach, and they are all based in Anchorage.

1. homer sign

Sign on the way into Homer.

The main reason for visiting Homer, known as the Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea, was to meet with the Friends of the Homer Public Library, an organization that applied for technical assistance from NPS-RTCA to transform the area into a cultural, educational and recreational asset for the community. The property is centrally located and can enhance ease of access by linking current pathways within the city, like the library’s Storyboard Trail. A small wetland nearby can serve as an educational resource for the public to understand the role of the habitat.

2. library

In front of the Homer Public Library.

The roadtrip happened in September 2021, but Alaska NPS-RTCA communicated with the Friends of the Homer Public Library for a long time beforehand. They arranged a community meeting for locals to share their input. As a Communications Fellow, I usually write content for social media posts and newsletters; however, this time I was fortunate enough to be the photographer for the event. Other activities with the residents included a walkthrough of the outside trail as it stands and a brainstorming session to ponder what further outdoor education areas could be built. Though early in the process, the idea of expansion is creating lots of excitement!


3. meeting

Meeting with Friends of the Homer Public Library board member Lyn Maslow, pictured in the center. On the left side of the table are Alisson and Morgan, and on the right side of the table are Lizzy and Zach.

On the last day in the Kenai Peninsula, the team paused at the Kachemak Bay Water Trail to learn about its history. The water trail began with technical assistance from NPS-RTCA and now stretches 125 miles between the City of Seldovia and the Homer Spit, 4.5 miles of land that juts out into the bay, hence the city’s other nickname the End of the Road.

4. kachemak bay

Starting point of the Kachemak Bay Water Trail.

Upon returning to Anchortown, the last few days in Alaska were a whirlwind of fun with stops at the Anchorage Museum and at the famous “Greetings from Alaska” mural that you can see in the opening picture of this blog post.

5. museum

Scenic painting at the Anchorage Museum.

Thanks for following my adventures,


Agency: National Park Service

Program: Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Program (COR)

Location: Rivers, Trails Conservation Assistance Program - DC Field Office

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