This parkland originally belonged to the U.S. Army, but in 1956, the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Park Service deeded the property to the city and restricted land use to recreational purposes. The city developed a municipal bathing beach and recreation site.
Part of the deed required the municipality to pay a set amount over 20 years, but in 1964, the municipality agreed to pay the remainder due so they could construct a road through the property connecting to the University of Alaska and Providence Hospital. The Municipality also wished to develop a portion of the park for housing to relocate people displaced by the earthquake. The road was approved, but the housing development request was denied by the Department of Interior.
By 1978 the city had fully repaid the land debt and adopted a resolution guaranteeing recreational use of the property in perpetuity.
In 1988 an additional land exchange added further property to Goose Lake and secured the land for construction of the Native Hospital.
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