Girls On The Run program seeks adult coaches for the 2015 spring season

GOTR coach poster 2015

Sitkans Against Family Violence (SAFV) is recruiting adult coaches and volunteers for the Spring 2015 season of Girls on the Run.

Girls On The Run is a life-changing empowerment program for girls in third through fifth grade. We teach life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory five-kilometer (3.1-mile) running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.

The 12-week program is one of several in the region. GOTR of Southeast Alaska operates Girls On The Run programs in Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan, Petersburg, and Yakutat. Check out what the program is all about. The Girls on the Run program was honored at the 2014 Sitka Health Summit in October.

The Girls On The Run program in Sitka will meet twice-weekly, from 2:15-4 p.m. on either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays, from Feb. 2 through May 2 at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School. The season-ending 5K run will be on Saturday, May 9.

The deadline to apply to be a GOTR coach in Sitka is Saturday, Dec. 20, and there will be new coach training on Saturday, Jan. 24. Interested individuals should go to this link to apply, or contact SAFV at PO Box 6136 or egustafson@safv.org, or contact Elena at 747-3370.

Free winter bird walks offered at Sitka National Historical Park

Winter Bird Walks Final

Are you interested in viewing, identifying and learning about Sitka’s winter bird residents, or do you need a refresher before participating in the Christmas Bird Count in January? If so, you are in luck!

People of all ages and levels of bird-watching experience are invited to participate in free winter bird walks from 10-11:30 a.m. on Saturdays, Dec. 13 and Dec. 27, at Sitka National Historical Park. Participants will meet at the visitor center and then explore the park viewing birds throughout the park’s various ecosystems. At the conclusion of the walk, enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate inside the visitor center and discuss the bird species you saw that morning.

Interested parties should dress warmly and be prepared to spend an hour and a half outside in variable weather conditions. Participants who have binoculars are encouraged to bring them. A limited number of binoculars and field guides will be available for participants to borrow during the event. For more information, please contact Ryan Carpenter at (907) 747-0121 or at ryan_p_carpenter@nps.gov.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more about Sitka National Historical Park at http://www.nps.gov/sitk or visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaNationalHistoricalPark.

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the morning of Thursday, Dec. 18

Senior Hiking Dec 2014

The Sitka office of Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike will be from 9:15-11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 18. Seniors should meet at the Swan Lake Senior Center for transportation to the trailhead.

Normally, the group usually picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring ice cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once a month, usually on the second or third Thursday. There is a $5 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Bridget Kratz at 747-6859 or email her at bkratz@sailinc.org. The calendar below includes hiking, orienteering, kayaking, and other events for seniors, youth, and the disabled.

• December 2014 calendar of Sitka SAIL ORCA events

SEARHC Injury Prevention offers ice cleats coupon for older adults

YakTraxOnShoes

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Injury Prevention department is offering coupons for $7 ice cleats to local elders.

t’s that time of year when ice and snow can make walkways slippery, especially when visibility is limited or you’re walking in poorly lit or drained areas. SEARHC’s Injury Prevention team wants to let everyone know ice cleats are a simple preventive measure that can be taken so you can safely walk all winter.

In partnership with the Sitka Fire Department, SEARHC is providing ice cleat coupons to help with foot traction for those ages 60 and older. Ice cleats priced at $30.00 or less now can be purchased with the coupon from participating stores (Orion Sporting Goods, Russell’s, Work & Rugged Gear Store or Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop) for just $7.00.

You may pick up a coupon at the Sitka Fire Department at 209 Lake Street, or you can visit the SEARHC S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Social Services, Security or Physical Therapy departments at 222 Tongass Drive. The offer is available through Dec. 24 and limited to stock on hand.

SEARHC Injury Prevention hopes you have a safe and joyful holiday season. For additional information, please contact Lesa Way at SEARHC Injury Prevention at 966-8804 or email lesaw@searhc.org

Sitka artists host their annual fall Sitka Art Walk on Friday, Nov. 28

SitkaArtWalk11282014

Sitka artists are hosting their annual fall Sitka Art Walk from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 28, at several businesses around Sitka. This event takes place on Black Friday, which is a sales tax holiday in Sitka.

Galleries and businesses participating in this fall’s art walk are:

  • Back Door Cafe, 104 Barracks, Featuring paintings by Tracy Sylvester
  • Robertson’s Gallery and Custom Framing, 128 Lincoln, New photographs and prints
  • Old Harbor Books, 201 Lincoln, Original Sculptures by Liz Zacher
  • Island Artists Gallery, 205 B Lincoln, Featuring more than 20 local artists
  • Homeport Eatery, 209 Lincoln, With live music
  • Fishermen’s Eye Gallery, 239 Lincoln, Mountain drawings by Norm Campbell, and Collages and Quilts by Lucy Phillips
  • Sitka Rose Gallery, 419 Lincoln, New Pastels and prints by Eric Bealer
  • Raindance Gallery,  205 Monastery, Featuring mixed media artist Vivian Faith Prescott

Comment period closes Nov. 15 for Indian River pedestrian bridge replacement options at Sitka National Historical Park

Indian River Pedestrian Bridge Replacement Overview Poster_small

The Sitka National Historical Park has posted the potential alternatives for the replacement of the Indian River Pedestrian Bridge in the park visitors center.

Public input on the presented designs will have substantial influence on which design will become the preferred alternative in the Environmental Assessment (EA) under National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis. The public is invited to the park through Saturday, Nov. 15, to provide comments on site. The park visitors center is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays.

The Indian River Pedestrian Bridge Project is being designed by the Federal Highway Administration with substantial National Park Service input and guidance. The purpose of this project is to maintain safe pedestrian, bicycle, and other non-motorized vehicle access across the Indian River within Sitka National Historical Park.

Although still safe, the current bridge is nearing the end of its 50-year design life and needs to be replaced to maintain this access and to address accessibility and bridge design standards that have changed since the time of the current bridge’s construction.

Individuals wishing to send written comments may e-mail them to Sitka National Historical Park Chief of Resources Brinnen Carter at brinnen_carter@nps.gov. Photos of some of the alternatives are posted in a slideshow below, but there are full-size posters of the options at the park’s visitors center with information about trail width, cost, construction materials, and more.

• Indian River Pedestrian Bridge Replacement Project Fact Sheet

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SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the morning of Thursday, Nov. 13

November 2014 flier-sarah komisar

The Sitka office of Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike will be from 9:15-11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13. Seniors should meet at the Swan Lake Senior Center for transportation to the trailhead. This month’s guest hiker is Sarah Komisar from the Sitka Conservation Society.

Normally, the group usually picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. SAIL makes trekking poles available for hikers to use (trekking poles are great on ice or uneven terrain, and they help seniors keep their balance), and hikers are encouraged to bring cleats such as YakTrax during the icy months of winter.

SAIL offers Senior Hiking Club events for those age 60 or older once a month, usually on the second or third Thursday. There is a $5 fee, but nobody will be turned away because of finances. The hikes are open to people of all abilities and fitness levels. To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, check out our January 2013 post introducing the club.

To learn more about the Senior Hiking Club, senior and adaptive kayaking trips, senior cycling events, and and a variety of other outdoors skills and survival classes, contact SAIL ORCA (Outdoor Recreation and Community Access) program coordinator Bridget Kratz at 747-6859 or email her at bkratz@sailinc.org. The calendar below includes hiking, orienteering, kayaking, and other events for seniors, youth, and the disabled.

• November 2014 calendar of Sitka SAIL ORCA events