FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2007
NOLS Alaska Receives Rasmuson Grant to Upgrade Historic Berry House
NOLS Alaska, a branch of the National Outdoor Leadership School, recently received a generous $25,000 grant from the Rasmuson Foundation in Anchorage to upgrade and repair the historic Berry House, located on its Palmer campus on Farm Loop Road.
“We are excited that the building will serve our staff, helping them to serve our students and the community,” says Don Ford, longtime Palmer resident and NOLS Alaska Director.
Built in 1935 during the settling of Alaska’s Matanuska Colony, the Berry House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation farmhouse. Through President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal project, farmers from the upper Midwest were relocated to farm in the temperate Matanuska valley.
The Berry House has served for many years as staff housing for NOLS Alaska, but over time the historic building has fallen into disrepair. NOLS Alaska Director Don Ford says that while it would have been more cost-effective simply to tear it down and start anew, NOLS Alaska staff felt that preserving the original structure was important. “It will enjoy a new and long life,” he says. Construction is already underway.
Founded in 1965 by legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) is the leader in wilderness education and sets the industry standard for responsible, high-quality educational expeditions. NOLS provides an awe-inspiring, transformative experience that develops active, positive leaders with lifelong environmental ethics and outdoor skills to more than 10,000 students each year. NOLS Alaska students, ages 16 to over 70, explore remote wilderness areas on 10-day to semester-length courses from the Brooks Range to Southeast Alaska and from sea level to the summit of Denali. College credit and scholarships are available. For more information, call NOLS at (800) 710-NOLS (6657).