Earth Day is on Wednesday, April 22, and Earth Week is April 19-25. Sitka will host a variety of activities for Earth Week, including two volunteer days at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, a recycled costume-making class, a garden work party, a discussion about electric vehicles in Sitka, a presentation on the effects of climate change on penguins, a youth eco-challenge, a discussion about how to peacefully live in bear country, free bus rides all week, spring clean-up events, and the 14th annual Earth Day Parade of the Species.
The Sitka Fine Arts Camp will host two volunteer days events this month, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 11, and Saturday, April 25, at Whitmore Hall on the Sheldon Jackson Campus. Stop by and help get the campus ready for the summer. Lunch is provided. For info, contact Jacob at 747-3805.
The Alaska Way of Life 4H Club will host a recycled costume-making class from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14. This is a good time for kids to make their costumes for the Parade of the Species. Contact Sarah at 747-7509 for more details.
There also is a community-wide spring clean-up event from April 18-26, 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.
Sitka’s “the RIDE” bus service will provide free bus rides during the week of April 20-24 in its annual recognition of Earth Day. In addition to the free bus rides during Earth Week, the RIDE’s monthly bus passes will be discounted (adult pass is $40 instead of $50, and the child/disabled/senior pass is $20 instead of $25).
Are you interested in what it takes to operate an electric car in Sitka? All members of the public are invited to a facilitated discussion about expanding the use of clean, locally powered, all-electric vehicles. Meet from 7-8 p.m. on Monday, April 20, at Kettleson Memorial Library. For more information, call Doug Osborne at 747-3752.
Will “Happy Feet” stand the heat? Gemma Carroll, a PhD student from Sydney, Australia, will discuss the investigation of the effects of climate change on the world’s smallest penguin. By studying how the penguins’ movements relate to their ocean environment, we hope to predict what might happen as our ocean systems change. This event is at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, at the Alaska Raptor Center.
“Avoiding Human and Bear Conflicts” by Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Phil Mooney of Sitka is the topic of the University of Alaska Southeast Natural History Seminar. This event is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, at UAS-Sitka Campus Room 229.
Spring is a good time to get down and dirty in the garden, and the Sitka Local Foods Network will host a garden work party from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm. Participants will help put starts in the ground, weed, and prepare the garden for planting. For info, call Laura Schmidt at 738-7009, or go to the Sitka Local Foods Network website, http://www.sitkalocalfoodsnetwork.org/. The garden work parties are kid-friendly, so feel free to bring the munchkins to help.
The second annual youth eco-challenge is from 9:45 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 25, at Sitka National Historical Park. School-aged youth teams will test their skills of compass navigation, bear safety, and fire building while they make their way through the Sitka National Historical Park. Sign up in teams of four, or as individuals and be put on a team. Teams of multiple ages are recommended. It’s a race. Contact Mary Wood to register, 747-7509.
Finally, the 14th annual Parade of Species, hosted by the Sitka Conservation Society, is on Friday, April 24. 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. Prizes will be awarded for Best Use of Recycled Material, Most Realistic, and Best Local Plant/Animal. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 747-7509. Click here for photos of 2013 Parade of Species costumes.