Eagle River Lions Park: A Crown Jewel of our Community
This fall the Eagle River Lions Club will be celebrating their 50th anniversary as a participant in the Eagle River Community. Having served twice as president of the club.
I am proud to say that the Lions organization and its commitment to the Lions Community Park and community is unwavering.
Many folks in the community may be unaware that the 40 acre park and 10,000 sq ft clubhouse is a private facility which is leased from the State Parks system. There have been attempts to have management turned over to MOA — which of course would have the resultant mill levy increases and tax increases for everyone. The Lions can and do continue to have this responsibility and are very happy to have the continued support of the Knik Little League and recently from the Pop Warner youth football group. Boy Scout Troup 230 has met at the facility for many years. The Sleeping Lady Mtn. Lions also utilize and support the operation of the building.
The park has transitioned over the years from an original natural setting of nothing but wilderness to what today is a modern park that we as residents can be very proud of. Mr. Obama might be advised that we built what is now six baseball fields, two youth football fields, tennis courts, a fenced horse shoe pits, a basketball court and several picnic pavilions, which are all free for public usage on a first come first use basis.
We received no tax funding from the MOA for maintenance and upkeep, but we have received some State of Alaska grant funding over the years for building upkeep and for a public water irrigation system (in 2001) which greatly improved the park. I must mention the endless hours of donated time put in by those Lions and Lioness’s that cut the trees, made the ball fields, and conducted the fundraisers over the years. The ‘old days’ of flippin’ burgers and hot dogs, bake sales, spaghetti feeds etc. still happen, but we now have 21st century tasks such as building rentals and other tasks such as raffles to raise funds.
Many of our members are now the offspring of those earlier pioneer Lions that have transitioned to take over. We still pride ourselves on 3rd of July, Community Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and other donations, as well as our continued support for Vision related issues, but the Crown Jewell of the ER Lions club continues to be the park for the community.
For more information on the ER Lions club, visit www.eagleriverlions.org.