Zaks Town Project beautifies Anchorage’s streets
Family establishes legacy of deceased skateboarder
ANCHORAGE - After finishing his business degree in New York City, 29-year-old Zak Kaercher moved back to his hometown of Anchorage and opened his first business: Zaks Boardroom on Fourth Avenue.
His fiancée Caroline followed him.
“We were the new kids on the block; he definitely wanted to have the shop downtown, he loved [the] downtown heart of Anchorage,” said Caroline Menendez, who still works at Zaks Boardroom.
Kaercher’s dreams for a life in Anchorage were cut short: He died in June of 2010 after falling from his skateboard.
Today, his family is helping to make sure one of his dreams lives on.
Kaercher wanted to line the streets of Anchorage with trees to represent his love of nature.
His family has made this a reality.
“The trees are maple,” said father Dale Kaercher.
“The city has these planted in several areas of town and they seem to survive pretty well. We worked closely with the city on it, It’s kind of a model for future planters; they’ve obviously had lots of problems with the last ones.”
The problems included trees dying during the winter.
“Because the planters were flat in the ground and the winter salt would get thrown in there and so the trees were dying,” said Ruth Quinlan, with Anchorage Downtown Partnership, an organization helping with Zaks Town Project.
So far, the family has paid to construct five raised beds on Fourth Avenue. They were completed last week.
“Once we show that this project really works and that people appreciate it maybe there will be other people who step forward to help sponsor some and make it a beautification project for all of downtown,” said Quinlan.