Work on popular sledding hill delayed

With a few pre-winter snows, a sledding hill popular with children has already seen some use.

However, the Wrangell parks and recreation department’s plan to make improvements to the hill behind the covered play area at the elementary school has been delayed.

Replacing decaying logs between the parking lot and the hill, and clearing of alders encroaching on the slope will now likely take place in the spring, said Kate Thomas, parks and recreation director.

Parks and recreation was teaming up with the public works department to complete that work.

Part of the delay is due to the Coronavirus, said Tom Wetor, public works director. “I’ve had a lot of people out with COVID,” he said.

The department also had employee transitions in the sanitation department, and needed a lot of hands to get the trash bailer, which mashes and bundles up garbage, up and running, diverting attention away from the logs falling apart at the base of the sledding hill and fast-growing alder trees.

“Hopefully in the springtime we may be able to get a more permanent solution set up,” Wetor said.

The logs are at the base for safety, and so ATVs don’t drive up and down the hillside, ripping up the grade and making it less than optimal for sledding, Wetor said.

Replacing the parking lot barricade and making slope improvements will be easier in more temperate conditions, Thomas said.

With snow here, the hill has already seen use, she said, and while the improvements are not required for sledders to slide down the hill, the parks and rec department wants people to have better access for the longer term.

 

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