Anchorage

Anchorage’s newest park has its grand opening

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Anchorage's newest park will have its grand opening from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. Chanshtnu Muldoon Park, named for the Dena'ina word for "grass creek," is a project a decade in the making.

Saturday's free event will offer food and games, with the ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for 1 p.m.

The municipality purchased the property, located at 1301 Muldoon Road, in 2006 and in 2014 dedicated the entire 26-acre plot as parkland. The municipal parks department has been working with the community for three years developing ideas for the park.

"We asked the community, 'What do we do with this blank space?' " said Steve Rafuse, a senior park planner with the municipality. "So we took the larger community vision and used that to identify what types of priorities, what types of activities. Things like an all-inclusive playground, you've got a beautiful custom picnic shelter."

"We don't have a yard, so it's just a really nice place to come," said Barb Piromalli, who was at the park Thursday morning playing with her daughters Annalise, 3, and Grace, 1. "It's really great for our community."

"For the city, this is a great chance for us to really work with the community, listen to them, and bring them the park that they've been asking us for years," said Rafuse. "It was a really great partnership for Muldoon."

"If you look at the history of this city, we're pretty much built out by this point," said Rafuse. "Opportunities to create new parks become increasingly more limited. (This opportunity) doesn't come around too often, maybe once in a decade."