Swiss on the West Coast
The Golden Heart City
The duration of the Americorps contract was spent working in Fairbanks Alaska. We settled in the community of North Pole. The schools here are wonderful The class sizes make learning fun and achievable.
The sponsoring agency was University of Alaska Fairbanks. The site location was Access Alaska Youth in Transition Program . Access Alaska is a nationally accredited center for Independent living. The primary focus is to support people with any disability to live in community of choice. The independent living specialists help identify the necessary accommodations and find ways to make them happen. This wonderful group is focused, dedicated, and extremely flexible to the changing needs of the community.
The city architecture is unique combination of Pioneer times, modern , and industry.
The girls and I were interested in learning more about Pioneer times. We were told the best place to visit was Pioneer park. The restored historical pioneer park has authentic cabins, a museum, theater, a dry docked steamer and a steam train.
The buildings were donated and relocated from all over the Fairbanks area. Then the building were loving restored by volunteers and opened to the public.
The cabins, theater, and museum are placed in an authentic town layout reflective of a traditional frontier community. Some are rented out to local nonprofits that offer services to the community. Other buildings are rented out to local artisans. The theater offers stage plays by a local acting troupe.
The park also doubles as a community events venue. One of the most fun and exciting experiences we have had was during Halloween. Pioneer Park was transformed to a haunted town to raise money for a local school sports program.
Community events and places to visit are held throughout the Fairbanks area. One such area with several places to visit is University of Fairbanks campus. The two places the girls and I have visited are the , The musk ox farm, and The museum of the north.
Our first visit to The Museum of the North was on New Year’s Eve. The museum grounds are a favorite viewing place for community fireworks. Before the show begins Local area residents are invited in to the Museum for hot chocolate and cookies while they study displays. Some of the displays include a mammoth skeleton, Authentic whale bones, artisan handmade boats and wonderful stunning examples of native clothing and craftsmanship.
The spirit of adventure is strong . The sub zero temperature doesn’t stop the community from coming together for special events