Sitka Conservation Society adult 4-H program offers backcountry cooking classes

SCS_Backcountry Cooking Series_Summer2014The Sitka Conservation Society is offering an adult 4-H program, with the first offering a backcountry cooking class series in June and July. We’ll be teaching you how to cook delicious meals for your next camping or backpacking trip following Leave No Trace (LNT) principles.

Classes are from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, June 19, June 26, July 10, and July 17. The first class is required — you’ll learn backcountry cooking basics and LNT principles. The following three classes you can pick and choose from. We’ll focus on a different meal each evening, but you can expect things like pizza, cinnamon rolls, and home-made dehydrated meals.

Space is limited and registration is required. The class location will be given when you register. Classes are $6 for Sitka Conservation Society members, and $10 for non-SCS members. For more information, call the Sitka Conservation Society at 747-7509, or contact Mary Wood at mary@sitkawild.org or Tracy Gagnon at tracy@sitkawild.org.

Posted in Outdoor programs, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AK Experience Camp gives youth ages 11-18 a chance to experience Alaska skills and adventure

4-H ASAC Flier

Registration is open for the AK Experience Camp, 4-H Alaska Skills and Adventure, hosted by the Juneau District of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. All Southeast Alaska youth ages 11-18 are invited to attend a fun-filled, five-day outdoor residential camp from Aug. 11-15 at the Eagle River Scout Camp in Juneau.

Youth can learn about lure and fly casting, firearms skills and safety, shooting, kayaking, wilderness survival, and more. The fee for the camp is $175, and some scholarships are available. For more information and to register, call Susie Wilkie at (907) 523-3250, Ext. 0 (Juneau number).

Posted in Kids and nature, Outdoor events, Outdoor programs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free children’s program offered Tuesday, June 17, at Sitka National Historical Park

SitkaNationalHistoricalParkSign

Join a ranger for a free program for elementary-aged students from 10-11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 17, at Sitka National Historical Park. Participants will learn to identify the common trees of Southeast Alaska and recognize their significance. Participants must be accompanied by a parent/guardian for the duration of the program.

For more information about the ranger-guided tour at Sitka National Historical Park, call the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher at (907) 747-0133.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov/sitk or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaNationalHistoricalPark.

Posted in Kids and nature, Outdoor events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SAIL announces a summer of hiking, kayaking, and other outdoors activities, including Only Fools Run at Midnight

OFRAMRaceStartSitka

Hiking clubs, walking groups, kayaking events, youth adventure clubs, picnics, and the annual Only Fools Run At Midnight fundraiser are just some of the numerous outdoors activities offered this summer by the Sitka office of Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL).

In June, SAIL teamed up with the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Elder Physical Activity Program and the Sitka Pioneer Home to launch a new weekly hiking group for seniors. The group hosts relatively easy hikes from 10:15-11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays at various locations around Sitka, and local seniors, their families and caregivers are encouraged to bring their lunches for a picnic after the walk. Click this link for more info and contacts.

SAIL’s next Senior Hiking Club monthly hike will be from 9:15-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 26. Seniors should meet at the Swan Lake Senior Center for transportation to the trailhead, which will be determined by the group on the day of the hike. Local biologist Kitty LaBounty will join the monthly hike in June.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once a month, usually on the second or third Wednesday. There is a $5 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club. For more information, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Alli Gabbert at 747-6859 or email her at agabbert@sailinc.org (Note, Bridget Kratz will replace Alli as the SAIL ORCA program coordinator/Jesuit Volunteer later this summer).

OFRAMLogoOnBlackIn addition, the 11th annual Only Fools Run At Midnight costumed fun run/fundraiser for SAIL starts at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, at the Sitka Fire Hall. The 5-kilometer fun run and 1-mile walk are open to anybody, and costumes are encouraged. Please pre-register by 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 19, at the SAIL office (514 Lake St.), the Hames Center, Old Harbor Books, or First Bank, or you can enter on the day of the race starting at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, at the Sitka Fire Hall. Minors need parental permission to participate. Registration is $10 for youth (17 or younger), $20 for adults, and $50 for families of four. You can register by clicking this link, and going to the Sitka listing, or by contacting Dave Nuetzel at dnuetzel@sailinc.org or 747-6859

Samsing Kayak FlyerSAIL also started its senior kayaking program in April for seniors (age 60 and older only). The next session is from noon to 4 p.m. on Monday, June 30, at a location TBA (on the ocean), and the event is open to seniors of all experience levels. This event has an activity fee of $25 (scholarships are available). There also will be a three-day kayaking trip to Samsing Cove on July 12-14. The cost for the Samsing Cove trip is $450, with a deposit of $225 due by June 30.

Finally, SAIL will host a community picnic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, at Halibut Point Recreation Area. This event is open to all members of the community. SAIL will provide the grillables, but everybody is asked to bring a side dish or dessert to share.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Alli Gabbert (or Bridget Kratz later this summer) at 747-6859.

• Summer 2014 schedule of SAIL outdoors activities in Sitka

Posted in Outdoor events, Outdoor programs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sitka Trail Works sets Herring Cove work party for National Trails Day

beaverherringloop_map

SitkaTrailWorksLogoAs part of the American Hiking Society’s 22nd annual National Trails Day on Saturday, June 7, Sitka Trail Works and the U.S. Forest Service Sitka Ranger District are hosting a work party to help spruce up the Herring Cove Trail.

This event will be led by Sarah Bell of Sitka Trail Works and USFS trails specialist Laurent Deviche. This volunteer effort will begin repairs to the upper trail near the waterfall.

All volunteers are encouraged to meet at the Herring Cove Trailhead at 9 a.m. (the trailhead is located six miles east of downtown Sitka on Sawmill Creek Road past the Sawmill Cove Industrial Area). Work on the Herring Cove Trail will continue throughout the summer — including a hike on the Herring Cove Trail and Beaver Lake Loop on June 14 (National Get Outdoors Day) — due to extensive weather damage from Fall 2013, which will take a lot of time and effort to restore the trail.

“National Trails Day encourages Americans to connect with local outdoor clubs, businesses, community groups, and parks and recreation departments, as well as federal land managing agencies, to experience, appreciate, and share the natural places we cherish,” Sitka Trail Works said.

Posted in Outdoor events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sitka National Historical Park to host National Trails Day event Saturday, June 7

NTD_2013_copyright2_RGB-1024x1019SitkaNationalHistoricalParkSignOn Saturday, June 7, people all around the country will celebrate National Trails Day, a day set aside to celebrate our trails and the great outdoors. A local celebration of National Trails Day will be hosted by Sitka National Historical Park starting at 2 p.m. at the park’s Visitor Center.

In order to make every hike a safe experience, Sitka National Historical Park invites you to an educational event focusing on safety in bear country and an orientation to the recently completed River View Trail.

The event will begin with a showing of The Ends of the Earth, an award winning documentary about the ecosystem of Katmai National Park and Preserve and the Alaska Peninsula, a landscape where bears outnumber people and the sockeye salmon run is the most prolific in the world.

The second part of the event will focus specifically on bear safety and will include a short Bear Spray Training video, a review of basic safety tips regarding hiking in bear country and hands on practice with bear spray techniques using inert canisters. This event focuses on bear spray use and will not include information or discussion about firearms and bears.

The event will conclude with a tour of the recently completed River View Trail with Chief Ranger, Carin Farley. Come see the latest addition to the trail system at Sitka National Historical Park and hear about the tools and techniques that were used by the trail crew from Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park to complete the project last fall.

Sitka National Historical Park’s
National Trails Day event schedule

  • 2 pm – The Ends of the Earth (26-minute video) in the park’s Visitor Center theater
  • 2:30 pm – Bear Spray Training video (12 minutes) in the park’s Visitor Center theater
  • 2:50 pm – Bear spray practice using an inert canister outside the park’s Visitor Center
  • 3:15 pm – Walking tour of the of the new River View Trail starting from the Visitor Center lobby

You are welcome to come for all or part of the event as we join thousands of other people across the country in celebrating the many trails that allow access to the natural world for recreation, education, exploration, solitude, inspiration, and physical and mental health.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more about the National Park Service at www.nps.gov. Learn more about Sitka National Historical Park at www.nps.gov/sitk or visit the park’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaNationalHistoricalPark.

Posted in Kids and nature, Outdoor events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kids Fishing Day set for Saturday, June 7, at Swan Lake

KidsFishingDay

Kids, get your lucky fishing hats and join the party. The annual Kids Fishing Day is set for Saturday, June 7, at Swan Lake here in Sitka.

An Alaska Department of Fish & Game float plane prepares to take off from Swan Lake after stocking the lake with rainbow trout on May 28.

An Alaska Department of Fish and Game float plane prepares to take off from Swan Lake after stocking the lake with rainbow trout on May 28.

The lake recently was stocked with wild rainbow trout (stocked on May 28), and with fish measuring from 6-12 inches long. These fish are mixing in with the normal cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden that normally live in Swan Lake.

Kids Fishing Day has prizes for kids ages 2-12, who can fish from shore or a boat. Registration opens at 8 a.m., with fishing starting at 9 a.m. Prizes will be awarded about 12:30-1 p.m. In recent years there usually have been about 100 young anglers participating, and as many as 50 boats have been counted out on the lake. There will be hot dogs and chips for the kids, as well as a booth where the kids can make fish prints.

No fishing license is needed for kids age 16-younger. Any kids age 16-younger fishing from a boat must wear a personal flotation device (PFD). Kids needing PFDs can borrow them from one of the Kids Don’t Float lockers at any of Sitka’s harbors.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has liberalized the fishing regulations for the Saturday of the fishing derby, which means kids can use bait, and catch up to two trout of any size (normally, only trout between 11-22 inches can be caught. Click this link for more info about the Kids Fishing Day relaxed regulations for Saturday.

This event is sponsored by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the USDA Forest Service-Sitka Ranger Station, and the Sitka Rotary Club.

Posted in Kids and nature, Outdoor events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment