Girls On The Run closes out school year with Tutu Trot 5K run

GOTR 5K Poster

The Sitka Girls On The Run program will host celebrate the end of the season with the 2014 Tutu Trot five-kilometer run from 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, May 11, with the start-finish line at Crescent Harbor Shelter. The fun run and ceremony will feature a visit from national Girls On The Run founder Molly Barker.

This is a family friendly event, and tutus and bright colors are encouraged, but not required. Volunteers and cheerleaders also are needed  so they can make the event extra special for our participants. Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Volunteer — there are quite a few volunteer positions available, some of which also allow volunteers to run in the event (all allow volunteers to be cheerleaders). Volunteer time requirements vary by assignment. Please register at http://tinyurl.com/Sitka-5K-2014. Please contact Elena Gustafson at egustafson@safv.org or 747-3370 with any questions.
  • Cheerleader — position yourself along the course between 3:30 and 4:30 to cheer the girls on as they run. The run starts at Crescent Harbor Shelter, runs along the Sitka Sea Walk and through the Sitka National Historical Park’s Totem Trails and back, so there are plenty of places to cheer people on. Bring a sign and bright colors and a positive attitude.

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. Sitkans Against Family Violence (SAFV) hosts the GOTR program in Sitka.

Please help spread the word and encourage family members and friends to make the 2014 Tutu Trot a success.

Alaska Airlines employees host “Sitka Sue Walk” on April 26 to help fight cancer

Participants line up for the 2011 Sitka Sue Walk. (Photo courtesy of Sheri Buggins)

Participants line up for the 2011 Sitka Sue Walk. (Photo courtesy of Sheri Buggins)

The Alaska Airlines station in Sitka has been hit hard by cancer in recent years, which is why the local airline employees will host the Seventh Annual Sitka Sue Walk at 7:30 a.m. (meet at 7:15 a.m.) on Saturday, April 26, at the Rocky Gutierrez Airport.

This annual walk honors the memory of long-time Alaska Airlines employee Sue “Sitka Sue” Frank, who passed away in 2007 from lung cancer. In 2012, the airline lost another Sitka employee, John Gassman, to cancer. Saturday’s five-kilometer walk from the airport to the Sitka Fire Hall and back will honor both in a “Flight to Fight” cancer. Participants can walk or run one way or round trip, and this is a dog-friendly event.

Sitka Sue was known for her walks around Sitka, and her goal was to walk at least seven miles a day. After her death, a park bench was placed in her honor in front of the Sitka Fire Hall, where firefighters fondly remember the many meals she cooked for for them over the years. After her death, the local

Alaska Airlines employees dedicated their new employee wellness walking program to her.

Donations of $10 are suggested, with the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society‘s Sitka Relay For Life, which will be held Aug. 15-16 at Sitka’s Moller Park track/football field. This is one of many ACS Relay For Life events around the country (here’s more info about the Sitka event from this KCAW-Raven Radio interview in February 2013).

Alaska Airlines will have a team at the Sitka Sue Walk, and there will be luminarias to honor Sue and John. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Sheri Buggins at 738-0254.

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the morning of Wednesday, April 16

Senior Hiking Club April 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 Wednesday, April 16. Seniors should meet at the Swan Lake Senior Center for transportation to the trailhead. Sitka naturalist and bird-watcher Matt Goff will join this hike and share his knowledge.

Normally, the group usually picks the trail on the day of the hike, but occasionally a trail is picked before the event. Please note that this month’s hike is on a Wednesday instead of the usual Thursday. During the winter, hikers are encouraged to bring cleats such as YakTrax, and 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).

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 Alli Gabbert at 747-6859 or email her at agabbert@sailinc.org. The calendar below includes hiking, orienteering, kayaking, and other events for seniors, youth, and the disabled.

• April 2014 calendar of Sitka SAIL ORCA events

Earth Week activities include gardening classes, a youth eco-challenge, and the Parade of the Species

ParadeOfTheSpecies

2014+Earth+Week+posterEarth Day is on Tuesday, April 22, and Earth Week is April 20-26. Sitka will host a variety of activities for Earth Week, including some gardening classes, a youth eco-challenge, free bus rides all month, spring clean-up events, and the 13th annual Parade of the Species. Click the event names at this link for more activity details.

Giving Earth Week an early start is a presentation at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, in Room 106 at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus, when Gordon Wrobel will discuss his three-year USDA project to build local food systems in Elfin Cove. Contact the Sitka Local Foods Network at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com for more information.

Lauren Oakes will discuss yellow cedar ecology and long-term vegetation changes in temperate forests impacted by climate change at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, at the UAS Sitka Campus as part of the ongoing Natural History Seminar Series.

yellow_cedarb_nathistorytalkBob Gorman of the Sitka District office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will give two presentations at 7 p.m. at the UAS Sitka Campus — on Monday, April 21, about extending the growing season and greenhouses, and on Tuesday, April 22, about sustainable wood heat.

There will be clean-up events from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, April 19, for 4-H club members and other youth, and from noon to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22, for Sitka Conservation Society members and other community members, both at locations TBA. There also is a community-wide spring clean-up event from April 26-May 11, when people can bring in a variety of large items and hazardous materials to the Sawmill Cove Scrap Yard, hosted by the City and Borough of Sitka Public Works Department.

The Sitka Community Ride bus service will provide free bus rides during the entire month of April in its annual recognition of Earth Day.

The youth eco-challenge is from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 26, 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 13th annual Parade of Species, hosted by the Sitka Conservation Society, is on Friday, April 25. 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 2:30 p.m. and parade down Lincoln Street to Harrigan Centennial Hall at 3 p.m. There will be a number of community organizations with hands-on Earth Day inspired activities for the whole family from 3-4:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for Best Use of Recycled Material, Most Realistic, and Best Local Plant/Animal. For more information contact mary@sitkawild.org or call 747-7509. Click here for photos of 2013 Parade of Species costumes.

• Sitka Spring Clean-Up Events 2014

• Sitka Earth Week Events Schedule for 2014

Get up and move on Wednesday, April 2, for National Walking Day

NationalWalkingDay2014Logolarge

Wednesday, April 2, is the American Heart Association‘s National Walking Day, and on this day companies, organizations and individuals across America are going to wear sneakers to work, take 30 minutes to walk and pledge to live heart-healthy lives.

These days, adults like spend more time at work than ever before, much of it chained to a desk. An unfortunate side effect is that, as a nation, we’re becoming more inactive. This is a problem when you consider the fact that physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease.

NationalWalkingDayLogomediumOn National Walking Day, employees are encouraged to wear sneakers to work and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk. It’s a great way to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and to give your co-workers a friendly push toward a healthier life.

By downloading the National Walking Day toolkit, worksite employee wellness teams can design one-day walking events or six-week walking programs to help get employees and bosses more active. Some tips include holding walking meetings, setting up printers so you have to walk down the hall to get your printouts, standing up every time you talk on the phone, and holding lunchtime walks. Getting out and walking helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer and other medical conditions, and walking also helps relieve work stress and gives employees a chance to recharge for the rest of the work day.

In Sitka, people can participate in a variety of walking/hiking programs, such as Park Prescriptions, the Wednesday Walk In The Parks, the Senior Hiking Club and more. Or they can walk on their own, with family or their dogs to get out and enjoy Sitka’s natural beauty.