Senator Berta Gardner

August 8, 2013

Visit my FaceBook page

Serving Midtown, Spenard, and UMed

716 W. 4th Ave. Suite 340
Anchorage AK, 99501
Phone: 907-269-0174
Fax: 907-269-0177
Call Me: 1-800-331-4930

Write a Letter to the Editor submit your 175 word letter to the Anchorage Daily News via e-mail, or fax them to 258-2157, attn: letters to the editor.


Senator Mark Begich
EMAIL: Sen. Mark Begich

Senator Lisa Murkowski
EMAIL: Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Congressman Don Young
EMAIL: Rep. Don Young

Who Can Make A Difference?

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Neighbors enjoying the newly installed equipment at Campbell Creek Park
Neighbors enjoying the newly installed equipment at Campbell Creek Park

           Though we are not currently in session, the legislature has been abuzz with activity. This week many of us are brushing up on the fundamentals of international gas markets at the Gas Symposium.  

           I am not writing, however, about developing and selling Alaska’s energy. Instead, I’d like to take a moment to talk about how human energy and persistence can make real change in the community.

          Several years ago I met Jeff Wooden while door knocking. He took the time to express his frustration with the illegal campers in the Campbell Creek Park behind his home. Like many others, Jeff saw a problem in his neighborhood and wanted something to change. Those who’ve been to Campbell Creek Park know that the history of the park has been dotted with drinking issues, loud music, trash and illegal camping.  Jeff and I talked about some of the options for addressing the problem and in 2008, working with Assemblymembers Elvi Gray-Jackson and Dick Traini, he was instrumental in creating the organization Take Back Our Parks (TBOP).   

          Since that time, Jeff has engaged the Anchorage Rescue Mission, Brown Jug, the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant, and Retailer’s Association, Anchorage Park Foundation, the Rasmuson Foundation, the Anchorage Police Department, numerous members of the Alaska State Legislature and many of his neighbors in finding solutions to the problem.  It took enormous dedication and sustained effort to pull these stakeholders together and to get them to rally around a project.

          The effort has paid off. This past weekend, Campbell Creek Park was flooded with volunteers, many of whom were personally invited by Jeff, to commemorate and assist with the installation of new park equipment.  The camps with their unsightly and unpleasant debris are gone, though keeping the park clean requires continual effort.

          Under the watchful eye of Jeff Wooden and Take Back Our Parks, an area of our community has been rehabilitated and can be used once again for the benefit of the whole neighborhood.   The significance of this story is that it demonstrates how one person can make a difference. At times, I meet people who say “my voice wouldn’t really change the way things are going anyway, so why even get involved?”

         Every voice matters and every effort helps, even if the effect isn’t immediately obvious.

           I’m Berta and I’m still listening,

           If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office

signed: Berta

P.S.   Of course, cleaning up the camps is one thing.  We know that the bigger problem of homelessness and alcoholism remains an issue in our city and our state.  I support a legal camping area within the city where showers, toilets, and services can be available to those who wish to live outdoors, or who are unable to find or retain housing.

P.S.S. Are you an active volunteer with an interest in education issues? The United Way is working hard to reach Anchorage’s goal of 90% graduation by the year 2020. To do this, they are looking for volunteer mentors who could spare 1 hour/week. Currently, Lake Hood Elementary and Susitna Elementary are participating. You can contact Sue Brogan at 907.263.3821 or for more information or to register as a mentor. If you’d like more information about the program you can visit:

Senator Gardner Tours the new UAA Sports Arena

Senator Gardner Tours the new UAA Sports Arena

Senator Gardner Tours the new UAA Sports Arena 2

To unsubscribe from Berta's Briefings click here