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Margaret Eagan Sullivan Park (Westchester Lagoon)

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1824 W. 15th Avenue
Anchorage, AK
907-274-1003
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Description:

In the early 1960s, the Municipality of Anchorage proposed creating a lagoon in the Chester Creek watershed. This project was made part of the Anchorage urban renewal program in 1963.

The dike was constructed in 1968, the underpass in 1967 and the tide gate in 1970. In 1974, the city began acquiring other properties near the lagoon.

In 1975, the Parks & Recreation Department and the Municipality of Anchorage decided to make the lagoon a waterfowl sanctuary. In 1975, workers drained the lagoon for several weeks while islands were built in the lagoon for nesting birds. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game and the Audubon Society planted native grasses at the site which were rescued from the road project at Eklutna Lake.

Originally, this area was a ski hill, with a rope tow taking skiers to the top of Romig Hill. In 1976, the Parks & Recreation Department worked with the community to develop a park plan. At that time, the only entrance planned for the park was from Spenard Road. The Park Plan envisioned a nature trail built around the lagoon, which became the first ADA-accessible trail built in Alaska.

The Municipality completed a habitat restoration project in 1977, and the nature trail officially opened. In 1978 the lagoon was drained to remove two of the three islands, and landscaping was added to the remaining island. In May of 1979, vandals opened the gates of the dam and drained the lagoon. A more secure system was installed to prevent this from happening again.

On Sept. 30, 1993 a dedication was held to rename all of Westchester Lagoon for Margaret Eagan Sullivan, former Mayor George Sullivans wife.

Westchester Lagoon is popular year-round destination for recreation activities.

Features & Amenities
~Nature trail
~Picnic shelter
~Trails for running, biking, walking, skiing and snowshoeing
~Westchester Lagoon, on west side of park, available for small boats in summer and ice skating in the winter
~Fitness station
~Access to the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail and the Chester Creek Trail
~Winter Frisbee Golf course
~Kiwanis Overlook across from West High School
~Portable restrooms available year-round
~Covy Cafe and Trail Watch Headquarters at Westchester Lagoon in summer
~Parking lots at Westchester Lagoon, Kiwanis Overlook, 19th Avenues & Spenard Road, and at the Duck Walk, off Spenard Road
~Part of Chester Creek Greenbelt

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