Mention the name of this park and longtime Anchorage residents have flashbacks of a tragic day back in 1998.

It was the perfect summer day for an ice cream cone and 7-year-old Whisper was nearby when she was hit and killed by a car on Lore Road. A year later, the muni renamed Lore Road Park in her name.

Now, the muni is making major upgrades to the park

Neighbors in the Abbott Loop community have been working to get improvements to this park for years. Their number one request was an off-leash dog park, which opened just a few weeks ago.

“I really like it-- it's official-- it's a more set-in-stone place for animals or dogs to congregate, so it's nice if you are trying to get your dog to socialize or if you just want to come out and enjoy the sun,” says neighbor Chris Ross, who lives just three blocks from the new dog park.

Ross says that Anchorage needed another dog park. He enjoys connecting with other dog owners while watching his pooch play. Whisper Faith Kovach is the seventh off-leash dog park in Anchorage

Right off the Seward Highway and Lore Road, the central location of this park means it won’t be a neighborhood secret for long.

There’s two fenced off areas: one just for small dogs and another larger area for all dogs-- complete with a designated dog play equipment area.

While the natural features are there, the equipment is included in the next phase of the project. A 2017 Muni Park Bond made most of the upgrades possible, however, the community still needs to match the $26,000 Anchorage Park Foundation Challenge Grant to finish the funding for the next phase of the project, which includes the doggy play equipment, a picnic area, dog waste stations and landscaping.

That’s not all that’s on tap: in just a few weeks, there will be something new for the small two-legged friends. The muni park bond also funds for a new kid’s playground.

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