Russian Jack Springs Skate Park
801 Pine Street
The Russian Jack Springs Park is classified as a Special Use Area park. The project proposes construction of a new skate park to be located in the northwest quadrant of the park, near the intersection of Pine Street and 8th Avenue.
Located adjacent to a popular playground and a paved and lighted parking area, lighted off-street parking area that also has trash bins and bathrooms. The site is adjacent to public roadway, is served by Anchorage’s public transportation service, and has a separated pedestrian/bicycle path that connects to the park’s continuous neighborhoods.
Russian Jack Springs Park supports a wide variety of recreational, cultural, and social activities, including walking, running, cycling, Nordic skiing, soccer, softball, tennis, golf, gardening, and community meetings/events. The skate park will complement the many family oriented recreational activities already available in the park.
The project was brought forward with strong community support and a $250,000 State grant awarded to the Anchorage Park Foundation. Working closely with the community, the Park and Recreation Staff has identified a site and performed preliminary engineering studies that have confirmed its suitability.
At approximately 3,000 square feet in area, the park will be in mid-range of size for a neighborhood skate park. It can be expected to support dozens of users with four or more skating simultaneously, depending upon the final design. The skate park’s surfacing and primary construction material will be Portland cement concrete, installed as flatwork, pre-cast and poured-in-place features. The contoured concrete surfaces will be complemented with stainless steel rails and other elements. The park will provide a diverse range of terrain, obstacles, and features, and reflect extensive input from community residents and Anchorage skaters during the design process.
The skate park will be adjacent to a playground that was designed and constructed with a “polar bear” theme. The skate park will complement and expand upon this concept through its choices of shape and color. A perimeter fence will be installed at the Municipality of Anchorage Risk Department requirements. An aesthetic highlight will be working to add details with park themed bear “footprints” in the perimeter fencing.
A principal goal of the project is to create a facility that will become the hub of the Russian Jack community’s thriving action sports community. In this park, action sports enthusiasts of all styles and backgrounds will feel comfortable learning new tricks and progressing, while making new friends and gaining a sense that they are a part of a unique collective of individuals. The project team’s design philosophy has a strong emphasis on creating endless possibilities within the park.
The Park’s Staff will also incorporate sustainable planning/building methods and environmental and social responsibility. We will preserve as much natural topography as possible, balancing cuts and fills and capitalizing on natural elevation changes. Existing trees will be preserved where possible and any that are removed will be replaced in kind. Appropriate materials, such as fly-ash in the concrete mix design, will be specified as preferred and more environmentally-friendly cement. Our drainage design will provide for onsite retention and treatment of storm water.
Planning and Public Support
Significant support for this project comes from multiple community and legislative sources. Letters of support were provided from Alaska State Senator Bill Wielechowski; Lisa McGuire, the Secretary of the Russian Jack Community Council; and Jason Borgstede, owner of Anchorage’s Blue and Gold Boardshop.
Alaska State Senator Bill Wielechowski first proposed this project in 2012 upon realizing that there is a considerable demand for skateboarding facilities in northeast Anchorage. In 2012, the Anchorage Park Foundation was awarded a $250,000 State Legislative Grant to help solve this issue. Following award of the grant, staff worked with residents of northeast Anchorage in order to learn which site they wished to have the project located. Northern Russian Jack Springs Park was then decided as the location for the incoming stake park. Following the determination of the project site, the Russian Jack Community Council voted unanimously in favor for the development of this project on December 11, 2013. The Council continues to be enthusiastic supporters of the project, voicing that residents are excited for the community asset improvements this project will bring to their underserved community. The Russian Jack Community Council is also thrilled with the opportunity to welcome their neighbors from outside of the Russian Jack community to visit their neighborhood once the park is opened.
In addition to being an active proponent of for the development of new skateboarding facilities in Anchorage,Local Anchorage business owner, Jason Borgstede of Blue & Gold Boardshop, has provided critical design feedback from the skateboarding community to the design team that existing skate facilities have the potential to be far greater than what is currently offered. Jason and his staff are eager for the opportunity to help serve as the voice of the skateboarding community throughout the design of the project.
- 2012 - Alaska State Senator Bill Wielechowski identifies strong constituent demand in northeast Anchorage for a skate park. He begins work on including a grant in the State’s Capital Budget.
- Construction begins in North Russian Jack Springs Park on a new off-street parking area with onsite storm water treatment.
- Construction also begins a new playground in North Russian Jack Springs Park that includes a custom “polar bear” slide.
- 2013 - North Russian Jack Spring Park’s playground and parking lot are completed and opened to the public.
- 2012 - Anchorage Park Foundation is awarded a State grant for $250,000 to be used to develop a skate park in northeast Anchorage.
- Anchorage Park Foundation engages with northeast Anchorage residents in a skate park site selection process. North Russian Jack Springs Park is selected as the preferred alternative.
- Russian Jack Community Council votes unanimously in favor siting the skate park in North Russian Jack Springs Park.
- 2014 - Loretta French Skate Park is designed and constructed in Chugiak, providing valuable experience in local skate park construction and development costs. The skate park proves immensely popular and is used year-round, including during winter snow and darkness.
- 2015 - Preliminary engineering for a North Russian Jack Springs Park skate park is performed, including topographic survey and soils investigation. Analysis validates feasibility of the site for development.
- 2016 – Concept design approved by a vote of support at Russian Jack Community Council on March 9, 2016. April 6, 2016, at the Park and Recreation Commission Meeting the Blue and Gold Skate Shop staff and skate community weighs in on final design concept, Option 2: Bowl concept is selected.
Summer 2016 Construction Schedule
Construction of the skate park will begin on Monday, June 13, 2016 and continue for approximately 8 weeks. For questions please contact Maeve Nevins, Park Planner at 343-4135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ground Breaking Event
Thurs., June 16th at 11am, join neighbors as we celebrate with the golden shovel the kick-off to construction!
Ribbon Cutting Event and Neighborhood Picnic
Sunday, August 28th, 2016 from 11-2pm there will be a special ribbon cutting event. Please join in the fun as we celebrate with ice cream sundaes, a skate demo event, door prizes and more! Visit the Anchorage Park Foundation for more info.