Russian Jack Springs Park is named for Jacob Marunenko, who originally came from Russia. He had a homestead near a freshwater spring. His homestead was purchased by the US Army in 1943. At the end of World War II, the land was used as a prison. After Alaska became a state in 1959, the prison was closed and the land was divided between a park and an alcohol rehabilitation hospital. The Girl Scouts, and later, the Lion's Club also used part of the land for campgrounds. The Girl Scouts still maintain a day camp in the park.
Today, Russian Jack Springs Park is a very large park of over 300 acres. There are multiple softball fields, tennis courts, and soccer field. There are two picnic areas, a public greenhouse, and solarium, a sledding hill, a nine-hole golf course, and a well-lighted trail for running in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.
There are also miles of trails for walking. In the northeastern section of the park, at the old Lion's Club campgrounds, there's a sizable off-leash area for dogs. There are no poop bags and no seating in the off-leash area, but there are water fountains throughout the park. Dogs are welcome throughout the park, but they must be leashed in most areas.
Russian Jack Springs Park is on the outskirts of Anchorage. However, it's still a sparsely populated wilderness area, so you would be wise to be aware of the possibility of visits from bear, moose, and other fauna. The off leash area is not fenced, so make sure your dog is well trained to come when she is called.
Much of the park is open year-round, however, parts of the park are only available during certain times of the year. The park is open from sunrise to sunset, which, in Alaska, means that the amount of time the park is open varies wildly.