Sitkans Against Family Violence seeks coaches for Boys Run: I Toowú Klatseen program

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Sitkans Against Family Violence (SAFV) is seeking coaches for its Boys Run: I toowú klatseen (strength of spirit) program.

This is an after-school empowerment program for boys in grades 3-5 that teaches them healthy relationship and respect skills while training towards a 5-kilometer fun run later this fall. It is modeled after the Girls On The Run program, which meets in the spring.

Coach training takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27 (lunch is provided). The Boys Run program has two teams that will meet from 2:40-4:15 p.m. from September through December in the Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School Gym. Team One meets on Mondays/Wednesdays starting Sept. 21 and Team Two meets on Tuesdays/Thursdays starting Sept. 22.

For more information, contact Lauren Havens at SAFV at 747-3370 or send an email to lhavens@safv.org. The coaches application and job description can be found at this link.

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

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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.

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 25

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The Sitka office of Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike will be from 1-3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25 (note time change from usual schedule). Seniors should meet at the Swan Lake Senior Center for transportation to the trailhead for Indian River Trail.

Normally, the group 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 Steve Hutchinson at 747-6859 or email her at shutchinson@sailinc.org. The calendar includes hiking, orienteering, kayaking, and other events for seniors, youth, and the disabled.

• SAIL events calendar for August 2016

Sitka National Historical Park to host meetings about completing Sitka Sea Walk first phase

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Sitka National Historical Park will host two meetings for public participation regarding the completion of the first phase of the Sitka Sea Walk, the end where the pathway enters the national park.

SitkaSeaWalkEndBySNHPJPGThe first phase of the Sitka Sea Walk, which opened in October 2013, extends from the Crescent Harbor parking lot to Sitka National Historical Park, running above the harbor parallel to Lincoln Street. The unfinished portion, from near Merrill Rock on Lincoln Street to the Sitka National Historical Park Visitor Center, has three possible options for completion. The public meetings will present the options, answer questions, and gather public opinion.

The first meeting will be held as an open house, from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at the Sitka National Historical Park Visitor Center. The second meeting will be a presentation by the Chief of Resources, Brinnen Carter, and will begin at 5:30 pm, on Tuesday, Aug. 30, at the Sitka National Historical Park Visitor Center.

For more information, please call the visitor center at 907-747-0110.

Sitka Planning Commission to discuss Sitka Comprehensive Plan, Katlian walkability on Aug. 2

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Mary Ann Peterson of the Celebrate Katlian Street group, left, and Paul Wistrand of the Juneau office of the Federal Highway Authority check out a Katlian Street curb cut during a May 2015 walkability assessment of the street.

Thumb_DigitalLogo2016422110743The Sitka Planning Commission will discuss the 2030 Sitka Comprehensive Plan during its meeting from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall (235 Katlian Street).

In addition, the meeting agenda includes looking at a policy for acquisition, disposal and retention of municipally owned land, and the group will break into teams to conduct a walkability assessment on Katlian Street.

Improving the walkability of Katlian Street has been a community wellness goal since the 2014 Sitka Health Summit, when the Celebrate Katlian Street: A Vibrant Community group was created. In addition to improving the walkability of Katlian Street, the group also has been trying to improve business opportunities and is working on a historical district application.

In May 2015, federal, state and city officials conducted several walkability and bikeability assessments around Sitka, including on Katlian Street. A walkability assessment looks at a variety of conditions, such as the condition of the sidewalk pavement (is it fractured, is it wide enough, are there power poles blocking wheelchairs), how the sidewalks link different communities (including those higher on the hill above Katlian), how is the land along the street being used (residential, industrial, business, etc.), how inviting the area is to walking, how safe is it for walking, etc. More details are in the document attached below.

• Walkability and Walking Tour Assessment of Land Use

• Aug. 2, 2016, Sitka Planning Commission Agenda

Indian River Pedestrian Bridge replacement project delayed until 2017

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SitkaNationalHistoricalParkSignThe replacement of the Indian River Pedestrian Bridge through Sitka National Historical Park will be delayed until the spring or early summer of 2017. Original plans called for the removal of the bridge to begin Sept. 15, 2016. All project work has now been delayed until 2017.

During the installation of the water and salmon exclusion structures, issues were identified with the footings of the bridge that inhibit them from being reused for the new piers. These findings prevented the work in the river from being completed by the permitted July 15 date.

The bridge will remain in place and open until the construction resumes next year. Sitka National Historical Park will notify the public when more information becomes available.

For the most up-to-date information on the status of the project and bridge closures, please call the Sitka National Historical Park visitor center at 747-0110.

Mosquito Cove Trail to be closed for trail maintenance on July 21

Mosquito Cove Trail photo by Matt Goff of SitkaTrails.org

Mosquito Cove Trail (photo by Matt Goff of SitkaTrails.org)

SitkaTrailWorksLogoThe Old Sitka State Historical Interpretive site parking lot and the Mosquito Cove Trail will be closed Thursday, July 21, so that Sitka Trail Works can helicopter transport gravel for a trail maintenance project.

Additional trail maintenance work is scheduled later this summer and is being funded by a Recreational Trail grant. Sitka Trail Works apologizes for any inconvenience.

For questions, please call Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244.