Sitka Trail Works hosts annual meeting and potluck dinner on Sunday, Oct. 6, at Swan Lake Senior Center

SitkaTrailWorksLogoSitka Trail Works, the nonprofit organization that scoordinate much of the trail-building and maintenance in town in partnership with other organizations, will host its annual meeting and potluck dinner from 5-7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6, at the Swan Lake Senior Center.

This event will feature a review of a busy past year of work, the seating of board members, election of officers, sharing of food, and more. This event is open to the public. For more information, call 747-7244.

Sitka Trail Works has had a busy year. It hosted its usual schedule of weekend hikes from March through August, plus it ran a fundraising campaign to raise $12,000 to meet a match on a $916,000 Federal Access Lands grant for the Sitka Cross Trail. Another project completed in September was to repair sections of the Fort Rousseau Causeway and install pathways from Virublennoi Island to Kiruskin Island. Also, longtime executive director Deborah Lyons got to enjoy a sabbatical this summer because of a Rasmuson Foundation grant.

Started soon after the closure of the Sitka Pulp Mill in the early 1990s, Sitka Trail Works served as way to help put many of the displaced timber mill workers back to work, according to co-founder Lisa Busch, who was honored in 2005 with a Volvo For Life Award for her work. Sitka Trail Works retrained them and put them to work building and maintaining trails around town. This led to a world-class trail system that continues to expand, helping Sitka reshape its economy from timber to tourism while also greatly increasing the walkability of Sitka. Over the years, Sitka Trail Works has been able to win several federal, state and private foundation grants, and in 2012 the Rasmuson Foundation had Sitka filmmaker Ellen Frankenstein produce this quirky video about the program.

The slideshow below features photos of Sitka residents and visitors enjoying Sitka Trail Works events on the trails, plus there are photos from the recent dedication of the Cascade Creek Bridge on the Sitka Cross Trail.

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