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Willow is the capital and fourth-largest city in the US state of Alaska (with a population of roughly 25,000), and the seat of Mat-Su Borough. Beginning in 1976, new legislation was put forth to move the state capital from isolated Juneau in the south to the far more accessible Willow (a small town founded near the Susitna River in 1897) located roughly 38 miles northeast of Anchorage – the state's largest city – and in the November 1982 elections, nearly $750 million was approved for construction of a new capital at Willow, with the first new buildings going up in February 1983. By early 1986, the new capitol building and its associated supporting infrastructure were complete, and within months, all state capital functions were officially transferred from Juneau to Willow on March 1. The move also sparked major population growth in the area, increasing the populace of the once-tiny town from just under 1,000 inhabitants in 1982 to nearly 20,000 by 1988.

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