Sitka Conservation Society, 4-H host summer bounty snack share at Sitka Public Library

The Alaska Way of Life 4-H Club (aka, Sitka Spruce Tips 4-H Club) and Sitka Conservation Society will host a summer harvest camp from 1-3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11, at the Sitka Public Library.

The 4-H club members will be making kid-friendly snacks from ingredients collected from public lands or grown in Sitka soil. Participants will create a recipe booklet.

For more information, contact Claire Sanchez at 747-7509 or

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

Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL) to host annual community picnic at Sitka Community Playground

The Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL) office in Sitka will host its annual community picnic from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 7, at the new Sitka Community Playground. The playground is located above Crescent Harbor, between the tennis courts and Sitka Sound Science Center.

The new Sitka Community Playground, which opens on July 4, is Sitka’s first American Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant playground, making it accessible to al. SAIL will provide grilled burgers, hot dogs, drinks and more. Please bring a side dish to share.

For more information, contact the SAIL office at 747-6859.

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

Sitka Community Playground to officially open at 10 a.m. on July 4

All are invited to the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the new Sitka Community Playground at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4. The new ADA-compliant playground is located at Crescent Harbor, next to the tennis courts and the Sitka Sound Science Center.

Before the ribbon gets cut and the children — of all ages — rush unto the 12,000-square-foot play space, we will take a few minutes to appreciate the many individuals, families, businesses, nonprofits and organizations that have worked for years to make this modern playground a reality. The Sitka Community Playground was a Sitka Health Summit community wellness project (in 2011 and again in 2015), and more than $800,000 was raised to make it a reality.

For more information, contact Bridget Hitchcock or Kay Turner at 747-1771

Posted in Kids and nature, Outdoor events, Outdoor programs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Sitka Community Playground starts to take shape

Construction is progressing on the new Sitka Community Playground project, which is being built on the site of the old Crescent Harbor Playground near the Sitka Sound Science Center.

As of Monday, June 18, most of the playground equipment had been installed by volunteers and a crew from CME Playground Install and Services.

There are still a few items that need installation, plus there is a project to install rubberized tiles around the playground that could take a week or two depending on the weather (if it’s raining heavily, the tile can’t be installed). Project organizers will need 4-6 volunteers per day to help with the tile project, and volunteers can register using the project’s SignUpGenius website. The site is still a construction zone, so project organizers ask parents and kids not to use the new playground until everything is finished.

Parking for volunteers is at the Crescent Harbor parking lot, the Hames Athletic and Wellness Center parking lot, and former Stratten Library, to avoid impacting events at the Sitka Sound Science Center.

The Sitka Community Playground was a community wellness project from the Sitka Health Summit. The goal was to build the first American Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant playground in Sitka.

The grand opening of the new Sitka Community Playground is scheduled for Wednesday, July 4. For more details about the project, check out the Sitka Community Playground group on Facebook, or contact Bridget Hitchcock or Kay Turner at Oceanside Therapy Center at 747-1771.

A slideshow of photos from the new playground is posted below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in Kids and nature, Outdoor events, Outdoor programs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

COASST program to train Sitka beach walkers for seabird mortality surveys

Help make a difference for the environment by collecting beached bird data for the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST). COASST is a citizen science program involving participants in the collection of high quality data used in natural resource management and conservation decisions.
Beached bird participants systematically count and identify bird carcasses to help determine baselines for seabird mortality along the North Pacific coast. No prior experience is necessary, just a commitment to survey a specific beach (about three-quarters of a mile) each month.
If you are interested in participating, visit our website to learn more about our program and join us our training session.
Sunday July 1
Noon to 6 p.m.
Karsh Classroom
834 Lincoln Street
Sitka, AK 99835
There is no charge to attend, but we ask participants to provide a $20 refundable deposit if you would like to take home a COASST survey toolkit. Beach surveys are best conducted in groups of two or more – please come with a survey partner in mind or plan to join a team during training. Training activities take place indoors. Please plan to bring a sack lunch for our mid-day break.
RSVP to COASST participation coordinator Jackie Lindsey at or 206-221-6893. If you’re unable to attend, please email us to let us know that you’d like to be contacted about future trainings near you.
Posted in Kids and nature, Outdoor events, Outdoor programs | Tagged , , , , , ,

Sitka Sound Science Center visiting scientist to lead bird walk at Sitka National Historical Park

Ornithologist Allison Nelson, the Scientist in Residency Fellow at the Sitka Sound Science Center this summer, will lead a bird walk on the totem trails at Sitka National Historical Park on Saturday, June 9.

Participants should meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Sitka Sound Science Center’s Mill Building for coffee and bagels, with the walk taking place from 8-9 a.m. at Sitka National Historical Park. Allison has been focusing her research on the hermit thrush, a migratory songbird native to Sitka. Allison will discuss birds and her research. Families and young birders are encouraged to attend.

For more information, contact Tory O’Connell at the Sitka Sound Science Center, 747-8878, Ext. 7, or This event is co-sponsored by the Sitka Sound Science Center, Sitka National Historical Park and Sitka Conservation Society.

Posted in Kids and nature, Outdoor events, Outdoor programs | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Kids Fishing Day set for Saturday, June 9, 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 9, 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.

Posted in Kids and nature, Outdoor events, Outdoor programs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,