Sitka National Historical Park celebrates centennial Aug. 25 with free programs and cake

SitkaNationalHistoricalParkSign

NPS100thBirthdayOn Thursday, Aug. 25, the community is invited to Sitka National Historical Park to celebrate Founder’s Day. Founder’s Day is the annual celebration of the creation of the National Park Service.

This is a milestone year for the National Park Service, with 2016 marking its 100th birthday. Centennial celebrations will include new ranger talks, tidepool exploration, a historic photo exhibit, free tours of the Russian Bishop’s House, Russian tea, hikes on the totem trails, and cupcakes. Don’t forget you can count your hikes on the Park Prescriptions program; just get them to stamp your free punchcard at the Visitor Center.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Historic Park Photo Exhibit

Take a walk through time by viewing seldom-seen photos from the park’s past. These historic park photos document the park’s rich history as a unit of the National Park Service. The photo exhibit will be located inside the Visitor Center.

Ranger Table Talks at the Visitor Center

Subsistence Champions, 9-9:45 a.m. — Learn about the multitude of edible, medicinal and all-around useful plants and animals in Southeast Alaska.

A Century of National Park Service, 9:45-10:30 a.m. — While National Parks seem commonplace today, they were a new and radical idea when first created 100 years ago.

Tidepool Exploration, 11 a.m. to noon — Explore and learn about tidepools and their resident creatures.

Salmon, Sea Otters and Eagles, 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Learn about the myriad species of wildlife that make their home in Sitka National Historical Park.

Salmon Talk, 2-3 p.m. — Learn more about the fish who have made life in Southeast Alaska possible for thousands of years.

Centennial Cupcakes at the Visitor Center

Cupcakes, 10:30 a.m. to noon — Cupcakes celebrating the 100th birthday of the National Park Service at the visitor center.

At the Russian Bishop’s House

Russian Tea, 9 a.m. to noon – Russian tea will be served on the front lawn of the Russian Bishop’s House.

Free Tours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Free ranger-guided tours of the restored residence of the Bishop on the second floor.

Learn more about the National Park Service at http://www.nps.gov/. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 407 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 Sitka National Historical Park at http://www.nps.gov/sitk or visit the park’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaNationalHistoricalPark.

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Sitka Sound Science Center to host guided tidepooling adventure on Aug. 6

Copy of Join us for a GUIDED BEACH WALK!

Do you know what lives in the tidepools around Sitka? Join the Sitka Sound Science Center from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 6, 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 ktirman@sitkascience.org.

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

LeaveNoTraceoutdooradventures

 

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 ktirman@sitkascience.org.

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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 sitka.community.playground@gmail.com. You also can go to the Sitka Community Playground website, http://sitkacommunityplay.wix.com/home, or join the Facebook group. There also is a link on the Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL) website where people can make online donations.

• 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

KidsFishingDay

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

Marchers

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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