Westchester Lagoon Viewing Platform
Margaret Eagan Sullivan Park, 1824 W. 15th Ave (Map)
Westchester Lagoon is located within Margaret Eagan Sullivan Park.
Sept. 5, 2018: Installation of the deck begins. Construction of the deck should be complete by early November. Official opening expected later this fall or next spring (depending on weather).
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Margaret Eagan Sullivan Park is a 89.28 acre park classified as a Community Use area. The park has a variety of amenities including a small building used for concessions and related plaza, play equipment area, three parking lots, trails including connections to the Chester Creek Trail system and the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail and a disc golf course. Several areas within the park include interpretive signs.
The proposed project is proximate to a set of signs focusing on birds, bird habitat and the lagoon. The proposed project includes a viewing platform that is located within the Margaret Eagan Sullivan Park on the north shore of the Westchester Lagoon, south of the parking lot off of W. 15th Ave that serves the boat ramp and ice skating area. The project location is based on existing views of the shore nesting bird activity at the island just a hundred feet from shore opposite the concrete boat ramp. The viewing platform will be accessed by a short paved trail that will connect to the existing trail. The platform proposes to include a unique bench system will accommodate ice skaters in the winter and be hidden from view in the summer.
Scope of Work
The project will include the following elements:
- 8’ x 24’ Viewing platform with open grate surface, supported with pilings that will be located above OHW;
- Open railing system suitable for photographers and binoculars;
- Access asphalt path connecting to the existing 10’ wide asphalt Chester Creek Trail;
- Interpretive signs or a system to mount interpretive materials;
- Winter skate bench located on the face of the viewing platform, mounted so as to be removable;
- Revegetation plantings as required (may include volunteer transplanting of tall grasses); and
- Lawn areas to match existing adjacent lawn.
MOA Parks was contacted in 2016 by John Wenger, an educator and avid birder who has worked in Alaska for decades. Mr. Wenger approached the MOA with the idea of a viewing platform that would encourage knowledge and education of shorebirds and that would allow views of the eagle nest on the south shore of the lagoon. He was directed to the Anchorage Park Foundation who is managing his donation and assisting in project development. Mr. Wenger is donating $50,000 for the planning, design and construction of the viewing platform. Additional funding is needed to add benches and signage.
2016/2017: Planning/Design/Permitting by Earthscape Landscape Architects
Fall 2018: Construction of new improvements
Planning and Public Involvement
Information was presented to the South Addition Community Council at their December 2017 meeting. A motion was made and the project was unanimously supported by those in attendance. The design team contacted the National Audubon Society who referred to the local Audubon Chapter who noted general support for the project and willingness to review plans as appropriate. Thede Tobish, avid birder and MOA Senior Planner, assisted in the location of the platform and will assist as required. The project was approved by the Park and Recreation Commission on March 8, 2018.