Ice garden brightens small corner of South Anchorage

Ice garden brightens small corner of South Anchorage
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 1:28 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Keeping busy and active during the long Alaskan winter can sometimes be a challenge, but Anchorage resident Lizzie Newell has found a hobby.

Newell thinks of herself as an “ice gardener.”

Her colorful ice sculpting passion began as a way to try and stop people from driving on her sidewalk.

“I decided I would make snow traffic cones, so that it wouldn’t matter if the plows hit it, and I could mark the edge of the sidewalk,” Newell said. “I did that for a while, but every time the plow came through, I’d have to pick them all up. And I was like, ‘Oh, this is no fun.’ So instead, I’ve moved them over here just to look at them, and then started adding the stuff on top.”

Newell still uses those same traffic cones, filling them with snow and colored water. The snow allows the color to spread through the cone and helps keep the water inside the cone. For added decoration, Newell freezes water — with color and without — in various structures, like yogurt containers, milk cartons and even mochi ice cream molds.

“What I love is that it changes every day,” Newell said. “So I get to watch it melt and all my neighbors get to watch it change. So it makes me happy.”

Newell’s neighbors seem to like the ice garden.

“People, they stopped by they say ‘Hey, I love it,’ you know, ‘Thanks for doing this.’ I think they really enjoy it,” Newell said.

Newell says one of the best things is when spring arrives, the structures melt and there’s nothing to clean up.