Seward Lagoon and Benny Benson Memorial Park
- River otter
- Double-crested cormorant
- Great blue heron
- Glaucous-winged gull
- Bald eagle
- Belted kingfisher
- Northwestern crow
- Common raven
- Tree swallow
- Violet-green swallow
- American dipper
- Yellow warbler
- Fox sparrow
- Song sparrow
Nestled at the north end of the Seward lagoon, the Benny Benson Memorial Park features a quarter-mile-long board-walk along the lagoon. Look for kingfishers and swallows on the powerlines, and eagles in the spruce trees. Watch and listen for warblers and sparrows in the dense alder and willow thickets (this is a great place to view these tiny, fast-moving birds up close). American dippers forage along the edges. Watch for returning adult salmon from mid-summer to late fall. If you’re lucky, you may spot the V-shaped wake of a swimming river otter.
Coastal temperate rainforest dominated by Sitka spruce rims this shallow lagoon. At the water’s edge is a fringe of cottonwood, alder and willow. Spring-fed and mountain streams flow through a privately-owned wetland to the north, providing a rich salmon spawning area, food, and nesting habitat for many species of birds. The close presence of people, vehicle traffic and small-town noise impact the site too.
The memorial remembers Benny Benson, who designed Alaska’s flag in 1927 while living at Seward’s Jesse Lee Home for Children. He was 13 at the time.
The park and boardwalk are worthy stops while walking to other locations in Seward. The south end of the boardwalk links up with the bike/walk path along the beach.
Try visiting very early, before vehicle noise picks up on the highway.
The park is across from the Seward small boat harbor, and is visible from the Seward Highway milepost 1.6. Turn west on Dairy Hill lane. The boardwalk runs north-south between the highway and the lagoon.