A community skate at Muldoon’s new Chanshtnu Park brought people from all over town to east Anchorage to check out what the play area has to offer.

“I'm super excited we finally got something. Usually, the southside and Midtown get the new parks. I think it's a great way to help the community come together,” said Lisa Gendron.

Chanshtnu Park's ice loop makes the play area a year-round destination.

he moved into Muldoon about a decade ago and brought her two girls to the park to test out the ice loop.

“I know a lot because my dad is the master skater in our family,” said 6-year-old G.G. Gendron.

Lisa Gendron's daughters enjoy their hot cocoa and skating at Chanshtnu Park on Monday.

The Anchorage Park Foundation finished the first phase in fall of 2017. “Chanshtnu” is the Dena’ina name meaning “Grass Creek,” the traditional Alaska Native name for the Chester Creek area.

The park encompasses more than 26 acres altogether and has an inclusive playground for kids of all abilities. Long-term plans include adding a greenhouse, bridge, picnic area, dog park and more trails.

The rendering of Chanshtnu Park's Phase 1.

It’s all part of a 20-year vision for the area to bring more recreational opportunities to east Anchorage-- something Lisa said was lacking.

“There are a lot of really small neighborhood parks where there's a small swing and a slide but knowing the long-range plan of what they're going to do here, I think it's really going to benefit the east side of town,” Lisa said.

Muldoon has seen a number of improvements over the past few years. Body Renew, Krispy Kreme and BurgerFi moved in across from Fred Meyer; down the street, the Cook Inlet Housing Authority has several apartment complexes in the works.

“It's exciting to see this area grow and thrive, and this park represents a place for people to come down, have some recreation,” said Kristi Wood, the Northeast Community Council’s Parks Committee chair. “It's a respite from the retail you see up and down Muldoon. So now, we have a beautiful place where communities can come together, visit and get to know their neighbors.”

Wood said the ice rink was an important feature to make sure the park attractive to people year round. In the summer, that same loop can be used for biking or skateboarding.

She said council members also saw the need for more green space as the neighborhood grows. About 20 percent of Anchorage’s population lives in the Northeast and Scenic Foothills community council areas, according to Wood.

“A lot of those people don't have yards or places to play. So this park gives all of those people excellent recreational opportunities,” Wood said.

Construction on Phase 2 is expected to begin this summer.

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