Alaska takes to crowdfunding to protect park


With Alaska’s fiscal crisis drying up funding for a number of state projects, officials hope a crowdfunding campaign will raise $50,000 (£38030.19) toward shoring up a crumbling riverbank creeping toward century-old buildings at a state park.

Alaska is among a growing list of governments and civic organizations across the country resorting to crowdfunding as traditional revenue sources shrink.

The riverbank project marks the state’s debut in the increasingly popular practice of financing ventures through small payouts from large numbers of people.

In recent years, funding sites such as Citizinvestor and Spacehive have provided cash-generating platforms for those public entities, tweaking the formula of private pioneers such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe.

“On our (state) website, we have a place where you can donate, but it’s the first time we’ve actually gone to crowdfunding,” said Brooks Ludwig, Alaska’s northern area park superintendent. “This is new territory for us.”

Alaskans blame the shortage of capital-improvement funds on oil prices that plunged two years ago and have stayed low ever since.

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The author Paul