My Favorite Park: Delaney Park Strip
As the Director of the Park and Recreation Department for 19 years, I was fortunate to have the great opportunity to be the director during a tremendous growth period between 1978 and 1985. I favored each and every one of them.
However, one park that always was of great interest to me is the Delaney Park Strip with all the many activities that took place on the 13 block 29 acre park in the heart of the Anchorage downtown area.
I would be there some evenings in the summer when hundreds of people would be participating or observing activities along the strip. As you would move along the park you could observe activities from a band concert near P street on the far west end of the park, picnics, people walking through the rose garden, soccer games near L street, softball games on the 6 softball fields, volleyball on the sand courts at 10th and E, some half court basketball on the ice rink pad, horseshoes on the horseshoe courts, tennis on the tennis courts on the east end of the park 12 blocks away from the band concert. Also, throughout the area that did not have organized activities going there would be pickup games of touch football and other sport activities.
During those years many other park facilities were constructed throughout the city but Delaney Park remained a center of activities and still does hold many community programs that bring people to the downtown area of Anchorage.
From the park’s beginning as a fire break when the city was first planned by the federal government, then conveyed to the city in 1922 as open space for firebreak and airfield to the present park, the area has been used as a community facility for outdoor active and passive events.
The Veterans Flagpole Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial, the Victims of Justice Tree and the Memorial to Pope John Paul II visit to Anchorage in 1981 all bring people to the park for outdoor community ceremonies.
That is what makes this park a great attraction for the citizens of Anchorage.