As Baranof Park shows age, local fundraisers see opportunities for improvement

The Baranof Park public recreation facility- known to locals as the hockey rink- has seen a lot of love in its 20-year history, playing host to sports of all kinds and notably host to Kodiak’s thriving youth hockey league. But as the facility shows its age, some members in the community see the opportunity to build on its foundation- enclosing the hockey rink, adding a second story indoor walking track, and expanding the parking space to name a few changes.

Kodiak Mayor Pat Branson is on board.

“We’ve needed this for a long time. This is the right time and capital campaign cabinet has been very busy,” Branson said. “And with the lead coming from our parks and rec director Corey Gronn and have received grants from the Rasmussen foundation. Of course the city is supporting this and people are already making pledges to improve this facility.”

The city made a contribution of $650,000 towards the project’s total price of $3.8 million, and is in talks to acquire adjacent property to expand parking. With about $930,000 worth of funds, the project is about a quarter funded.

“It’s for anyone who lives on Kodiak Island. And so if you’re interested, you can contact the cabinet and more information at friendsofbaranoffpark@outlook.com, email them and we’ll make sure you have the right information,” Branson said. “Or you can send in your pledge amount or your donation to the Friends of Baranof Park at Post Office Box 1227 Kodiak.”

Now Friends of Baranof Park is kicking its fundraising in to high gear for a planned Spring 2022 start date for the renovations. Construction plans have already been completed, and the group is working to court investment from national charitable organizations and the general public.

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