Sitka National Historical Park to host an intertidal BioBlitz on Aug. 3

From 8-11 a.m. on ​Saturday, Aug. 3, Sitka National Historical Park will host biologists from the Sitka Sound Science Center, who will work with the public to conduct a BioBlitz in the park’s tidelands. This is the last monthly BioBlitz of the summer.

Content experts will guide small groups of the public to find, photograph, and identify the diverse life found within the intertidal zone. The goal of this project is to attempt to identify all the species found within the park’s tidelands and capture some of the biodiversity found there.

This project is funded by the National Park Service through a cooperative effort with the Sitka Sound Science Center and these observations will inform the park’s all-taxa inventory of species.

Members of the public interested in participating can meet at the park’s visitor center any time between 8 and 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3, to meet the biologists and start exploring. We will provide the equipment and expertise; all experience levels are welcome.

For additional information, visit the park’s webpage at http://www.nps.gov/sitk or call the Visitor Center at (907) 747-0110.

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Sitka National Historical Park to host an intertidal BioBlitz on July 6

The Sitka National Historical Park will host an intertidal BioBlitz from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 6, at the tent outside the park’s visitor center.

During this event, participants will attempt to identify as many intertidal critters as possible. The park will provide identification experts, guides and equipment. This event is co-sponsored by the National Park Service and Sitka Sound Science Center.

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Sitka Sound Science Center hosts guided tide pool walks in early July

Join a Sitka Sound Science Center interpreter for a morning of intertidal exploration during three guided tide pool walks in early June. The walks begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 4; at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, July 5; and at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 6. The times vary each day because of the tides.

Participants will meet at the science center for a brief overview of the intertidal zone and what we can expect to see on the beach, as well as a beach etiquette talk. After that, we will head out to the beach adjacent to the Science Center for our beach walk.

The cost is $10, and includes all day admission to the aquarium and salmon hatchery. For more information, contact SSSC aquarium outreach manager Sandy McClung at 747-8878, Ext. 16, or smcclung@sitkascience.org.

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Kids Fishing Day set for Saturday, June 8, at Swan Lake in Sitka

Kids, get your lucky fishing hats and join the party. The annual Kids Fishing Day is set for Saturday, June 8, 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., and fishing starts at 9 a.m. Prizes will be awarded about 12:30-1 p.m. (must be present to win a prize). 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 (those ages 13-16 aren’t eligible to compete). Kids may fish from shore or on a boat, but all participants must wear a personal flotation device. 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. For more information, contact Joe Serio of the U.S. Forest Service at 747-6671.

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AK Experience Camp gives youth a chance to experience Alaska skills and adventure

The 2019 AK Experience Camp is fast approaching (July 22-28 at Rainbow Glacier Camp in Haines, near the Southeast Alaska State Fair Grounds), so it’s time to sign up your Southeast Alaska youth ages 11-18 now. Registration is on a first -come, first-served basis, and members of the Sitka Spruce Tips 4-H Club will be attending.

You can find the registration information and pictures from previous years on the Southeast Alaska 4-H website here. You can register your youth at this link, http://bit.ly/AKXCamp. Ferry transportation to and from Haines will be coordinated by camp.

Youth ages 11-18 can come to our fun-filled seven-day residential camp to learn sustainable, outdoor Alaskan skills as you play, hike, camp, fish, kayak and forage with experienced camp leaders. Gain a new awareness about conservation issues, resource management and harvest ethics. Develop your leadership skills and learn to make a difference in your world. And best of all, have fun with new friendships at 4-H camp.

The camp registration fee is $350, and ferry transportation to and from Juneau is $100 and transportation is $150 to and from Sitka. Some scholarships available. For more information on camp call or email Sarah at 907-523-3280 Ext. 1, or email at sarah.lewis@alaska.edu.

You will also need to register your youth in 4-H, which costs $25. Enrollment can be completed at http://bit.ly/4Honline. The $25 fee for 4-H can be paid via credit card at http://bit.ly/4HPayment. Call or email Susie at 907-523-3280 Ext. 0, or email at susie.wilkie@alaska.edu, for assistance with enrollment in 4-H.

The 4-H fee can be paid via credit card online during enrollment in 4-H. We are still requiring the paper form of the registration for our camp, but families also need to enroll in 4-H Online. Please visit the enroll in 4-H page for details. After you have filled out the online forms you will pick a club and project. Select AK Experience Camp for the club and adventure/challenge for the project. If you have already enrolled at 4-H Online, please go into your youth’s account and select AK Experience Camp as an additional club. This helps us to keep up to date on the youth who get to go to our awesome camp.

For more information about the camp, please contact Darren Snyder of the UAF Cooperative Extension Service by email at darren.snyder@alaska.edu or phone at 907-523-3280, Ext. 2. For help registering for camp, please contact Susie Wilkie by email at susie.wilkie@alaska.edu or phone at 907-523-3280, Ext. 0

This camp is brought to our Alaskan youth by partners at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service 4-H program and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, with the invaluable help of a robust team of trained volunteers and professionals. The UAF Cooperative Extension Service is truly thankful for everyone who gives so much to make this camp possible. Thanks and we’ll see you at camp.

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Sitka Sound Science Center to host Field Science School again this summer

Field Science School registration is now open for the second straight year at the Sitka Sound Science Center.

High-school-aged students are welcome to sign up for the eight-week skills course. Sessions take place every Friday, starting on June 7 and ending on Aug. 2. Registration closes on May 31.

Topics include visiting remote field sites across Baranof Island, conducting marine debris surveys, monitoring invasive species, and traveling by boat to conduct wildlife surveys. Participants can become certified field technicians if they complete the full series.

For more information and to register, contact Callie Simmons at 747-8878 or csimmons@sitkascience.org, or visit the Sitka Sound Science Center. This program is co-sponsored by the Sitka National Historical Park, the National Park Service and Alaska Geographic.

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Eco-Discovery event on Friday, April 26, focuses on being a Junior Geologist

Learn how to be a Junior Geologist during an Eco-Discovery event.

Students can join in the fun from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, April 26, at the Sitka Sound Science Center (Note: this is a teacher in-service day, so no school). This month’s event includes experiments and activities related to soil science, landslides, and physical science. The Eco-Discovery series is hosted by the Sitka Sound Science Center and the  Sitka National Historical Park. 

The series, which is offered free to the public, is designed for youth from kindergarten through sixth grade, and is self-paced. On average it takes participants between 30-45 minutes to complete the program.  Youth participants must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information about the Eco-Discovery series, contact Kristina Tirman at 747-8878 or ktirman@sitkascience.org.

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