Almost all Alaska communities have those unforgettable wild places -- the lookout where visitors are encouraged to take in the scenery -- or where the locals go to regain their sanity.  

For Anchorage, that special spot is a mere 564 acres, part of the larger Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses more than 32,000 acres.

But that tiny slice of the refuge packs in a lot. More than 140 species of birds have been spotted there and 21 different kinds of mammals.  As for humans… Potter Marsh sees about 150,000 visitors a year, which makes it one of the most popular wildlife viewing areas in the Alaska.

So this week, we carve out some space for a Frontiers tribute to Potter Marsh – one of those Zen moments of appreciation for our beautiful state. Here are some of the highlights from this week’s show:

  • Accidental marsh: you might be surprised to hear the story behind Potter Marsh.
  • Potter Marsh correspondent: From bears to birds, KTVA’s Joe Vigil shows off some of his favorite moments captured at Potter Marsh. You’ll see why he he’s been dubbed Anchorage’s unofficial Potter Marsh Correspondent.
  • Portrait of an artist: You’ve probably seen V Rae’s wildlife watercolors around Anchorage. She’s a popular artist, who draws a lot of her inspiration from Potter Marsh.
  • How Potter Marsh got its name: a colorful only-in-Alaska story.
A small tern is seen with an ambitious dinner at Potter Marsh. (Photo by Joe Vigil/KTVA)

Most people view Potter Marsh at a distance, as they’re speeding by at 60 mph. But on Frontiers, it’s nice to slow things down and really have a good visit with a person or a place. That’s when the spirit of Alaska is palpable.

We would love to feature places like Potter Marsh more often. If you have some suggestions, I would love to hear from you. Email me at Looking forward to your suggestions.  


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