Playground Transforms East Anchorage Neighborhood

Anchorage Park Foundation Russian Jack Park 3

The polar bear playground at Anchorage’s North Russian Jack Springs Park is officially open for play. This section of park has undergone a complete transformation from an abandoned and frightening area to a vibrant and bustling community recreation hub.

Kathleen Plunkett has lived near the park for 45 years. “Our neighborhood has been waiting for this day. Our kids are ready to enjoy such a welcoming playground as they play with Nola the Polar Bear and her friends!”

A view of the park area before the project began.
A view of the park area before the project began.

Russian Jack Community Council (RJCC) Vice President Fred McLeary is one of many neighbors who have helped see this project through to completion. “The RJCC has worked for years to get this playground built in the North Russian Jack Springs Park – to see it finally become a reality is nothing short of fantastic! Now kids in the surrounding neighborhoods have a place to make new friends, play on all that great equipment and just have tons of fun.”

The funding for the playground was secured by the Alaska State Legislature, the Rasmuson Foundation, and the Anchorage Park Foundation. District Senator Bill Wielechowski championed the acquisition of legislative funds for “improving this community park so that families from Anchorage will be able to enjoy for many years to come.” District Representative Max Gruenberg believes the playground will “be a magnet park that kids from all over will enjoy. The equipment is one of a kind!”

Anchorage Park Foundation Russian Jack Park 2

The new playground at North Russian Jack Springs Park is one of six playgrounds the Anchorage Park Foundation is installing this summer. In addition to the polar bear, the playground has a number of other Alaskan themed play structures, including a raven, a boat, and a small airplane and airport.

The Anchorage Park Foundation is building Healthy Parks & Healthy People by mobilizing public support and financial resources for Anchorage parks, trails, and recreation opportunities.

For the past six years, the Anchorage Park Foundation has been making it possible for volunteer and investors like you to make park improvements that affect our whole community, one neighborhood at a time. APF works tirelessly to build community through three main programs: Challenge Grants, Neighborhood Park Improvements, and Youth Employment in Parks.  It is a place for you to invest in our community parks, trails, and the neighborhood places you love.

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