Features & Amenities
- Frisbee Golf
- Sledding hill
- Natural Spring
- Dog Park at Lions Camper Park
- Girl Scout Day Camp
- Four tennis courts
- Lighted cross country skiing and running trails
- 9 hole golf course
- Public Municipal Greenhouse & Solarium
- Production Greenhouse
- Eight softball fields (at Pine Street north of Debarr)
- Two soccer fields
- Play equipment for 5-12 year olds
- Covered shelter
- Restrooms and community meeting rooms at the Lidia Selkregg Chalet
- Portable restrooms at ball fields May through September
- Parking lots at Lidia Selkregg Chalet, the Municipal Greenhouse, Cartee Softball Fields, Soccer Fields and at South Boniface
Russian Jack Springs Park is named for Jacob Marunenko, a Russian emigrant who arrived in Anchorage in 1915. According to public records, Marunenko had a permit to harvest trees in the area and lived on land homesteaded by two of his friends.
In the 1930’s, “Russian Jack” built a cabin located between the natural spring and the present-day chalet. The surrounding area became known as Russian Jack Springs.
In 1943, the Army claimed the land for wartime security reasons and paid the homesteaders for the confiscation. After the war, the city purchased the land as a war asset. The land was used as a park and a prison, known as “the prison farm”. In 1959, when Alaska became a state, the prison was closed. At that point, the southern portion of the park had gardens and a alcoholic rehabilitation center with several buildings, and the rest of the park was being used for recreation.
The Anchorage community was also engaged in using the park land. In 1952, the Girl Scouts leased land from the city to create a day camp area north of Debarr. In 1965, the Lions Club built a camper park off of Boniface Parkway and immediately gave the city a quick claim deed for the land.
Beginning in 1968, the Parks & Recreation Department added many amenities to the park, including the municipal greenhouse roads, parking lots, picnic shelters, restrooms, a ski chalet, a sledding and ski hill, ski trails, a day camp shelter and restrooms. The golf course opened in August of 1969 with artificial turf greens. Additionally, in 1971, two baseball fields, four tennis courts, restrooms and a warm up building were constructed at the corner of 6th & Pine. In 1974, the Anchorage Softball Association converted these fields to softball fields. Between 1972-73, the municipality developed the northern portion of the park, adding a picnic shelter, restroom, parking area and trails.
In 1978, improvements were made to the ski chalet after it was damaged by vandals. The chalet burned down in 1979, and was rebuilt between 1981 and 1983. Additional improvements and additions to the park in the 1980s and 1990s include: the Cartee Complex comprising four softball fields; two additional fields; two access roads; four tennis courts; additional lights; bike trails on both sides of Debarr; soccer fields at the north end of the park; a new playground; and 39 additional parking places.