Suzan Nightingale McKay Park
201 W. Cook Ave
Suzan Nightingale McKay Park is a neighborhood use park located on Cook Ave in the Government Hill neighborhood. The park encompasses 1.36 acres overlooking the Knik Arm and Alaska Range and includes picnic tables and benches. The park also features play equipment for 2-5 and 5-12 year olds as well as a Sydney Laurence Monument.
In 1954, the park was acquired by Federal Patent and named McKinley View Park. The land was combined with Anderson Park to make it larger and the Sydney Laurence Monument was moved to the park.
In the late 1970s, tour buses began to routinely visit this park for the beautiful view.
In 1993, the playground was installed through donations and volunteer efforts.
In 1994, the park was expanded to include the alley and additional playground equipment was added as well.
In 1997, the community requested the park name be changed to Suzan Nightingale McKay Memorial Park after a local writer, journalist, and teacher.
In 1998, the name change was approved.
In 2003, pathway and landscaping improvements were made.
Report Card and Funding
In 2008, neighbors and community members filled out a report card and identified several issues including concerns about overgrown trees and brush blocking scenic views and park trails, broken play equipment, loose safety matting and insufficient sand, and that the dog station is not accessible to all park users.
In 2011, neighbors and community members again came together to evaluate Suzan Nightingale McKay Memorial Park and identified the following issues: the park is “very ugly” and “very old”, the main dedication sign needs to be repaired, the playground sand should be weeded, the park needs lighting, safety upgrades to the path are needed, and general reinvestment to revitalize the park.
Parks and Recreation received a State Legislative Grant for $100k to address community concerns about this park.
Summer 2015 Improvements
Parks and Recreation has been working with a Very Important Parks (VIP) Committee to identify and prioritize park improvements. The committee was composed of local park users, neighbors, and community council members. The VIP Committee identified the following improvements:
-Replace play equipment
-Update playground surface
-Replace park amenities for easier maintenance
-Install trash cans, signs, and benches
Volunteer Fix-It Event
June 27th, 9a-12pm
RSVP to Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Fehribach.