Sitka Public Library to host Outdoor Adventures Skills-Leave No Trace workshop for youth



Want to learn some outdoor skills and be a responsible adventurer?

The Sitka Public Library and Sitka Conservation Society are teaming up to offer a free Outdoor Adventures Skills-Leave No Trace Workshop for youth age 10 and older. This event takes place at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16.

Participants will learn about hiking preparedness and fire building safety and they will get to build a fire on the beach near the library to roast snacks. This is a two-hour program and registration is required.

For more information, call the library at 747-8708

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Sitka Sound Science Center to host guided tidepooling adventure on July 23

Copy of Join us for a GUIDED BEACH WALK!-2

Do you know what lives in the tidepools around Sitka? Join the Sitka Sound Science Center from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 23, for a guided beach walk and tidepooling adventure.

All ages and abilities are welcome. Snacks will be provided. Please bring rain gear.

For more information, contact Kristina Tirman at 747-8878, ext. 1, or by email at

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Sitka Community Playground project to kick off FUNdraising campaign on July 26

07-15-16-Sitka Community Playground Concept Plan

SCP web logoThe new Sitka Community Playground project has been designed, now we need to raise funds to purchase equipment that inspires play and imagination in our children.

Help us kick off the FUNdraising campaign at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26, at the Sitka Community Hospital classroom (downstairs). We will meet to discuss fundraising strategies to build the first American Disabilities Act-compliant playground in Sitka.

Local landscape architect Monique Anderson and artists Laura Kaltenstein hosted a Design Day for kids and parents in April, and other artists have met with students at local schools. Those ideas have been refined, and now we’re ready to take the next step — raising money to get the playground built.

The Sitka Community Playground is a community wellness project from the 2015 Sitka Health Summit, and the goal of the project is to create an accessible, attractive, low maintenance and safe community playground that will meet the needs of both children and their families.

The community playground project initially was selected as a community wellness project at the 2011 Sitka Health Summit, but stalled after some initial work was done. The project was rekindled in 2014, when the city approved a site where the current Crescent Harbor playground is located, plus one of the three neighboring tennis courts.

The renewed project for 2015 will benefit from $2,000 in project seed money from the Sitka Health Summit. The committee also has been applying for other grants to help fund construction of what hopefully will become the only Sitka playground that will be compliant with the American Disabilities Act accessibility requirements. Previously there had been some design work done for another place in Sitka, in partnership with local students, but the group hopes to revamp the design with a new group of students.

To learn more about the Sitka Community Playground project, contact Dave Nuetzel at 747-6859, Kay Turner at 623-7878 or Kealoha Harmon at 747-3500, or send an email to You also can go to the Sitka Community Playground website,, or join the Facebook group.

• Sitka Community Playground information sheet

• Sitka Community Playground coloring sheet

• Sitka Community Playground note card

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Kids Fishing Day set for Saturday, June 11, at Swan Lake in Sitka


15-4 kids fish derby posterKids, get your lucky fishing hats and join the party. The annual Kids Fishing Day is set for Saturday, June 11, at Swan Lake here in Sitka.

The lake recently was stocked with wild rainbow trout, 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 (note, press release is from 2014).

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

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Scenes from the 15th annual Parade of the Species through downtown Sitka


ParadeOfSpeciesArtworkThere were lions, bears, and jellyfish galore during the 15th annual Parade of the Species, held Friday, April 22, through downtown Sitka as part of Earth Day and Earth Week activities hosted by the Sitka Conservation Society.

This year’s parade started from Totem Square and finished at the Sitka Sound Science Center, where there were a variety of activities for the kids such as making masks or drinking fresh smoothies.

A slideshow of photos from the parade is posted below.

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Sitka Trail Works releases weekend guided hike schedule for the 2016 summer

SitkaTrailWorksLogoSitka Trail Works will kick off its 2016 summer series of weekend hikes on Saturday, May 7, with a lesson on geocaching taught by volunteers. After a short tutorial at 8:30 a.m. at the Sitka High School entrance to the Cross Trail, participants will go discover some local geocaches (bring a smartphone or GPS device, if you have one).

The series of weekend hikes are led by various members of Sitka Trail Works, and there also are occasional bike rides and kayak trips on the schedule. Most of the hikes near town are free (donations are accepted), but some of the hikes require a boat trip and those have fees. The schedule runs through the end of August.

Sitka Trail Works recently announced the repair Heart Lake Stream trail-crossing on the Thimbleberry and Heart Lakes Trail, with a crew led by Troy Bayne. They also fixed part of the Cross Trail. These trails were repaired using state disaster funds following the Aug. 18, 2015, landslide.

On National Trails Day (Saturday, June 4), Sitka Trail Works and other groups will work on repair work to Cross Trail from the water tower to Cascade. This project starts at 9 a.m. on June 4, and people should meet at the Kimsham Trailhead. Tools will be available, but you should bring gloves, pruners and toppers, if you have them.

Don’t forget to check the Sitka Trail Works website for current trail condition reports.

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Earth Month activities include the Parade of the Species, a youth eco-challenge, gardening classes, and more


Earth month 2016FlyerEarth Day is on Friday, April 22, and Earth Week is April 17-23. Sitka will host a variety of activities for Earth Week, including a couple of spring clean-up events, an animal mask-making class, a recycled costume-making class, two gardening classes, a nature walk with story-telling, a community hike, a youth eco-challenge, and the 15th annual Earth Day Parade of the Species.

The Alaska Way of Life 4H Club will host a recycled costume-making class from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13. This is a good time for kids to make their costumes for the Parade of the Species. Contact Molly at 747-7509 for more details (including the class location).

The Spruce-Up Sitka Clean-Up seeks volunteers to meet at noon on Thursday, April 14, to pick-up trash around Blue Lake campground. This event requires a hike of about two miles into the campground and two miles out. Contact Galen Paine at (206) 535-0406 for more details.

SpringCleanup2016There also is a community-wide spring clean-up event from April 16-24, when people can bring in a variety of large items and hazardous materials to the transfer station and the Sawmill Cove Scrap Yard. This event is hosted by the City and Borough of Sitka Public Works Department.

It’s not on the Earth Month calendar, but the RIDE public transit in Sitka will offer free bus rides again this year during Earth Week (April 18-22). This has been a yearly offering from the RIDE, which is operated by a partnership between Sitka Tribe of Alaska and the nonprofit Center for Community.

Sitka Conservation Society will host a community hike at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 16, at the Thimbleberry Trailhead. Contact Molly at 747-7509 for details.

The Sitka Public Library (formerly Kettleson Memorial Library) will host an animal mask-making class at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, at the library.

The Sitka Spruce Tips 4H Club and Sitka Native Education Program (SNEP) will host a nature walk with storytelling featuring Chuck Miller teaching traditional Tlingít stories. This event is from 3:45-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, and you can contact or 747-7509 for registration details (including hike location).

slfn-newlogo copyThe Sitka Local Foods Network will host two free gardening classes during Earth Week. Jennifer Carter will teach “Everyone Can Compost,” which takes place from 6:30-8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, at the Sitka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall (408 Marine Street, parking off Spruce Street). Michelle Putz will teach “Growing Potatoes in Sitka,” which takes place from 9-10 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, at her house (131 Shelikof Street). Contact Jennifer Carter at 747-0520 or check the Sitka Local Foods Network website for more details.

2016 Eco-challenge adThe Sitka Conservation Society Earth Day Clean-Up takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, April 22, at a location TBA. SCS staff and board members will be at this event, and car pools are encouraged. Call 747-7509 for more details.

The third annual youth eco-challenge is free and takes place from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 23, at the Sitka National Historical Park. School-aged youth teams (grades 2-8) will test their outdoor skills and teamwork while they make their way through the Sitka National Historical Park. Sign up in teams of four, or as individuals to be put on a team. Teams of multiple ages are recommended. It’s a race. Limited spots available, so register early. Contact Molly Johnson to register, 747-7509 or

Parade of the Species FlyerFinally, the 15th annual Parade of Species, hosted by the Sitka Conservation Society, is on Friday, April 22. Parade participants are invited to dress as their favorite animal or plant and gallop, slither, swim, or fly with us. We will meet in Totem Square at 2:45 p.m. and parade down Lincoln Street to Harrigan Centennial Hall at 3:15 p.m. There will be a number of community organizations with hands-on Earth Day inspired activities for the whole family from 3:30-5:30 p.m. after the parade. Prizes will be awarded for Best Use of Recycled Material, Most Realistic, and Best Local Plant/Animal. For more information, contact or call 747-7509. A slideshow of scenes from the 2015 Parade of the Species is posted below.

• Sitka Earth Month Events Schedule for 2016

• Parade of species flier 2016

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