When Jim King was appointed to the City and Borough of Juneau’s first Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee in 1968, the Capital City didn’t even have a Parks and Rec department.
Today, the department is responsible for managing more than 50 parks and trails, two swimming pools, an ice arena, a skate park, and a rifle range. Not to mention the Jensen-Olson Arboretum, the Zach Gordon Youth Center, Centennial Hall, two parking garages, and the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.
King stepped down from the PRAC last month after 45 years. The Juneau Assembly on Monday honored his contributions to recreation in the Capital City and statewide. The proclamation took Mayor Merrill Sanford three minutes to read, and included nine whereas sections.
CBJ Parks and Rec Director Brent Fischer joked it easily could have been longer.
“We could have added more whereases on there until the sun came up tomorrow,” Fischer said. “But I want the Assembly and the public to know just, because of you, what a better place this community is.”
In 1970, King led the PRAC’s effort to compile a comprehensive list of parks and trails in Juneau. He also helped establish the Juneau State Parks Advisory Board, and led the charge to create the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge.
“I’ve always thought it was a privilege to live in Juneau and to be involved in the community as a volunteer with the Parks and Rec department,” King said. “It’s been wonderful.”
King worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 30 years as an enforcement agent, refuge manager and wildlife biologist. His final meeting as a member of the PRAC was in March.
The 85 year old will continue to live in Juneau with his wife, Mary Lou.
- Alaska Airlines pilots have reached a breaking point in negotiations with the company, and now have plans to picket outside Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. The pilots plan to picket starting at 1 p.m. Monday outside the airport in Anchorage.
- Jenkins was taking a practice run through the class four rapids when a bystander filming the event, noticed another participant, Daniel Hartung, 64, of Indian Valley, flipped out of his kayak and became pinned under a log.
- The Tazlina is the first of two new Alaska Class ferries that the Ketchikan Vigor Alaska shipyard is building for the state. Its two halves are complete and welded together, and shipyard workers are busy getting interior spaces done.
- The Alaska Marine Highway is taking reservations for October through April sailings. The schedule changed so the Matanuska can get new engines.