Our community has struggled with the influx of people from other Alaska communities as well as from outside Alaska. We recently have had some difficult and divisive discussions about the names of festivals and weekend celebrations that have been part of our community for many years. In an effort to develop a more community focused point of view, the Palmer Rotary would like to construct a lighted symbol of the Winter Season that we will erect on our historic water tower in downtown Palmer. This lighted symbol will be a snowflake that has over 100 LED lights. This lighted symbol of our celebrated Winter, will be erected on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving weekend) with much fanfare and a community Winter celebration event. It will be on a timed lock on/off switch to light up at dusk and turn off at daylight. The purpose of the event is to bring the community together on a weekend evening to celebrate the coming Winter and the personality that defines the city of Palmer and the MatSu Valley. In the proposed mounted position, the snowflake could be seen from over 65% of incorporated Palmer.
In consideration of long term maintenance, we are considering having each light on the snowflake offered to a "sponsor" who will dedicate the light for EACH winter (renewed every year) to an individual. This will provide for long term maintenance and cover utility cost.
As a Community Development tool, this project will work to draw the people of Palmer together to celebrate what makes our community such a special place to live..... The People. This is not about a specific holiday, but about our neighbors getting together to celebrate our town and the time of year when we come together and support each other.... Winter.
We envision this lighted reminder of our Community Spirit to become a cherished symbol of our Community Pride and Spirit. We see it being on future advertisements and becoming the reference people in other parts of Alaska use when they talk about Palmer. "The town with the huge lighted snowflake on the water tower!"
Palmer Rotary will be recognized as the sponsor and this project will greatly increase our visibility and name recognition in the MatSu Valley.
Addendum to Project Description (added after the project was signed)
The original project will not be done. Follows a description of the new project, which has been approved by The Rotary Foundation:
The Palmer Family Park is a project being developed and constructed to address a much needed service in the Community of Palmer, a common area for Special Needs individuals to interact, develop and play.
Currently under construction, the Palmer Family Park (The Park) is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2023. Land has already been cleared and graded, approvals obtained and planning completed. The Park will have multiple stations for individuals to interact, as well as accessible tables and areas for the families to gather and parents to oversee the activities of family members and friends. One unique focus of this project is providing a welcoming space for the Special Needs individuals to join in with others and develop relationships with others and build lasting bonds with peers.
Palmer Rotary is focused on working to provide a unit for this playground that has a unique focus on development. The "O-Zone 3-Ring Climber" brings a whole new shape to the playground and takes stretching and climbing to a new level! Unique, suspended polyethylene rings challenge kids mentally and physically as they maneuver through, over and around the PlayBooster play system. The developmental benefits are as follows:
- Sensory: Proprioception, Tactile, Vestibular.
- Motor Skills: Agility, Balance, Coordination, Core Body Strength, Flexibility, Lower/Upper Body Strength, Motor Planning.
- Cognitive Skills: Problem Solving.
Palmer Rotarians will work to set up and install this PlayBooster playsystem. Palmer Rotary will be recognized as providing this centerpiece to The Park. This will provide the additional benefit for the club of increasing the visibility and name recognition in the community.