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Anchorage Park Foundation Announces Student Winner of the Polar Bear Playground Naming & Story Contest


“Nola” is the New Name for Polar Bear in Russian Jack Springs Park

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Wednesday January 31, 2013 – The giant polar bear that arrived late this fall at the north end of Russian Jack Springs Park has been officially named. The name “Nola” was submitted by Natalya Sailiaga and Paradise Iona Pearson, third and first grade sisters at nearby Chester Valley Elementary School.

Judges of the naming contest included representatives from the Anchorage School District, Anchorage School Board, Russian Jack Community Council, and the company that designed the playground, Corvus Designs.  Kathleen Plunkett, Russian Jack Community Council member & Anchorage School Board Treasurer says, “This playground will be a destination for children from all over Anchorage and we are excited that they had this opportunity to name the polar bear and make it their own.”

The new playground at North Russian Jack Springs Park will open this summer, and is one of five playgrounds the Anchorage Park Foundation has helped fund being installed this summer. In addition to the polar bear, the park will have a number of other Alaskan themed play structures, including a raven, a boat, and a small airplane and airport.

The Pearson sisters’ story ends with this line: “There was no question about it; Nola had chosen Russian Jack Park as her new home forever.” The complete story, along with the names of the authors, will be posted on a plaque next to the polar bear in the park.

Welcome to your new home in Anchorage, Nola!

Grand Prize: Nola’s New Home

Natalya Sailiaga Pearson, 3rd grade; and Paradise Iona Pearson, 1st grade

Chester Valley Elementary

K-3 Honorable Mentions

Hunter's Accident: Laila Tosi, 3rd grade @ College Gate Elementary

Scooter's Adventure: Brylee Jones, 3rd grade @ College Gate Elementary

4-6 Honorable Mentions

Avalanche: Brianna Baldwin, 6th grade @ Rabbit Creek Elementary

Sonic: Garrett Doty, 5th grade @ Chester Valley Elementary

Arctic: Julius Abud, 4th grade @ Russian Jack Elementary


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