The second project charrette (workshop) was held the evening of Tuesday, September 13th. The intent of this session was to gain more information from the public and continue the development of an ongoing planning process. The focus of this evening was an exercise that related to hearing and documenting people’s current and future desired connection to the MGRA/MGVC, and discussion of general visions for the MGRA/MGVC.

Part 1: Overview from USFS and Planning Team

James King, USFS Regional Director of Recreation, Lands, Minerals, welcomed the approximate 38 participants and gave an outline of the project. James explained that the MGRA needs to plan for both the short term and the next 50 years while understanding the Mendenhall Glacier is receding. James Neary, USFS Director, Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center gave his insight into the project and reinforced James’ comment that the MGRA must meet the needs of both local residents and those that visit from cruise ships and ensure they both have a positive visitor experience. There was discussion that younger users need to be part of the process and the project needs to understand their needs for the future planning of the MGRA.

Part 2: Participant Introductions and Small Group Exercises

Participants introduced themselves and shared their favorite place or unique feature within the MGRA. Attendees of Charrette 2 were randomly divided into six groups to work collaboratively through a series of exercises that helped further understand how the MGRA is used and to create a general vision for its planning. Each group was asked how they use the MGRA, the experience they would like to have while visiting/using the MGRA and to prioritize the activities and services that the MGRA provides. Each group was tasked with selecting one priority activity and to understand its importance and developing a vision for the MGRA. Each group then created a future headline for the MGRA based on their vision. Finally, each group summarized their key insights they discovered in sharing ideas while running through the exercise within their group.

Summary Boards from Small Group Exercises

Each of the six groups elected a spokesman and presented their small group findings. Each of the six worksheets and the group responses are found below. These will be summarized shortly to aid in reading these.

Group 1: “1 and Fun”

Top activities and services:

  • Hiking
  • Touching the ice
  • Education/teaching

Top priority activity:

  • Tram to top of glacier
  • Why?
    • Reduce noise
    • Touch the glacier
    • Revenue source
  • Why?
    • Trail Connections
    • People dispersal
  • Why?
    • Make people care
  • Why?
    • Education and awareness

Future headline: “20 Million Pies Served”

Key Insights:

  • No fees for locals (for all?) Local vs. tourist
  • Does there have to be a sacrificial area?
  • Where are the boundaries, can we go outside the MGRA?

Group 2: “Sand County Gang”

Top activities and services:

  • Avenues around beaver flooded areas
  • Walking, hiking, biking, skiing
  • Wildlife viewing, plant study

Top priority activity:

  • Trails
  • Why?
    • Enables the experience
  • Why?
    • Access
  • Why?
    • Safety
    • Resource protection and preservation
  • Why?
    • Feelings, regular part of life

Future headline: “Juneau Happiest Lifestyle in Country”

Key Insights:

  • MGRA feeds my soul
  • Partnerships enable that to happen
  • Locals benefit from tourists

Group 3: “The Locals”

Top activities and services:

  • Walk/hike
  • Ski
  • Get dogs out

Top priority activity:

  • Hike/walk, explore by foot
  • Why?
    • Positive state of mind
  • Why?
    • Gives feeling and activities earlier (hiking, walking, dogs)
  • Why?
    • It’s why we’re here
  • Why?
    • Home

Future headline: “Mental Health Trust Closes”

Key Insights:

  • Many similarities, we love it!
  • Do your own thing, variety of landscape light
  • Can’t avoid crowds, lake edge bright

Group 4: “The Wolves”

Top activities and services:

  • Glacier viewing
  • Biking, skiing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding
  • Escape the mass of tourists

Top priority activity:

  • Hiking/walking
  • Why?
    • Escape from mass of tourists
  • Why?
    • Mental balance
  • Why?
    • Need for good health
  • Why?
    • Healthy people = Healthy community

Future headline: “Juneau Declared Healthiest Community in the World”

Key Insights:

  • Vision will require community’s’ whole-hearted buy-in
  • Outdoor appreciation begins with family
  • Group can set personal stuff aside for good of the group

Group 5: “Glacial Erratics”

Top activities and services:

  • Nature viewing (wildlife, aurora, etc)
  • See glacier up close, touch the glacier
  • Embrace the natural occurrences (wildlife, vegetation, geology)

Top priority activity:

  • Nature
  • Why?
    • It is the reason to be there
  • Why?
    • To feel
  • Why?
    • Health
  • Why?
    • To enjoy life

Future headline: “Peace and Quiet Reign at MGRA”

Key Insights:

  • Nature is the key that it all comes back to
  • Quiet and nature go hand in hand
  • Industrial tourism conflicts with nature

Group 6: “The Ice Worms”

Top activities and services:

  • Access to the glacier
  • Canoe/kayak
  • Ski/hike

Top priority activity:

  • Glacier uses
  • Why?
    • Unique
    • Formed an all-ages playground
    • Research and education
  • Why?
    • Inspiration, peace, perspective
    • Help inform public
  • Why?
    • Simplify
    • Interconnectedness
  • Why?
    • Uniqueness
    • Why we are here, why we are human

Future headline: “New Visitor Center on the West Glacier Rock Outcrop Now Serving Pie”

Key Insights:

  • The glacier is unique
  • Concern over disappearing glacier
  • Glacier great opportunity to teach all generations about climate change (and that younger generation should be engaged with planning)

You Can Still Participate!

Your participation is still valuable to us. If you were not able to attend the Charrette, please follow this link to give us your input. Charrette #2

Thank You!