Registration open as the 2020 Alaska Walk and Bike Conference goes virtual and free

The 2020 Alaska Walk and Bike Conference is going virtual, and now it’s free. It will take place from 9:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday, June 9-12.

Each day will open with a specialist discussing the science and evidence of that day’s theme, followed by another speaker who will feature an Alaska example. There will be an opportunity for attendees to ‘chat’ and share information after each day’s events.

The themes for each day are:

  • Tuesday, June 9 — Walking to Connect
  • Wednesday, June 10 — Walking is Good Medicine
  • Thursday, June 11 — Parks and Health
  • Friday, June 12 — Biking to Health

Some of our speakers include Ana Lucaci and Nicole Huegenin of Denver-based Walk2Connect, Dr. Elliot Bruhl of SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC, Chief Medical Officer based in Sitka), Bonita Banks BSN RN of South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alfgeir Kristjannson PhD from the University of West Virginia and Reykjavik University (Iceland), Maeve Nevins-Lavtar from the Municipality of Anchorage Department of Parks and Recreation, Dr Frederick Foote MD, Sarana Schell of AARP Alaska, Ken McLeod JD policy director of the League of American Bicyclists, Lee Hart of the Alaska Outdoor Alliance, and Scott Menzies and Charlie Lowell of the Sustina Bicycle Institute.

Click this link, https://www.kcaw.org/2020/05/18/alaska-walk-and-bike-conference-goes-virtual-this-june/, to hear Sitka’s Doug Osborne of the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) and Anchorage’s Dawn Groth RN BSN of the Alaska Division of Public Health discuss the conference during a May 18 morning interview on Sitka’s KCAW-Raven Radio.

A tentative agenda is posted below. To register for this free, virtual conference, click this link, https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_u_Hpx4yzQtK4khFeIX5BMg. For more information, contact Dawn Groth at dawn.groth@alaska.gov.

• Alaska Walk and Bike Conference flier (PDF for printing)

• Tentative Agenda for the Alaska Walk and Bike Conference (updated May 19)

(UPDATED) USDA Forest Service proposes reroute of Harbor Mountain / Gavan Hill Trail section

UPDATE, the following email was sent to stakeholders by the USDA Forest Service on May 7:

Hello,

The Harbor Mountain/Gavan Hill Trail Reconstruction project is cancelled until the land exchange with Alaska Mental Health Trust has been completed (estimated for the end of 2020).  We will ask for comments again when the project is back in active status.

We appreciate your interest in the management of our National Forests

The Sitka Ranger District of the USDA Forest Service is proposing to reroute the Gavan Hill segment of the Harbor Mountain / Gavan Hill Trail, beginning with survey and design in 2020 followed by construction in 2021 or when funds become available.

A project description can be found here on the internet along with a project area map.

You can email your comments to comments-alaska-tongass-sitka@usda.gov with “Gavan Reconstruction” in the subject line. Comments can also be faxed (907-747-4253) or mailed to Perry Edwards, District Ranger, 2108 Halibut Point Road, Sitka, AK 99835. Please submit your comments by June 1, 2020.

If you would like more information about the proposal, please contact project manager Mike Mullin at (907) 747-4274 or michael.mullin@usda.gov.

We appreciate your interest in the management of our National Forests.

• Information sheet about the Harbor Mountain / Gavan Hill Trail project

Join the Walk Sitka team in the 100 Miles In May Bonus Challenge

Are you feeling like your body’s going to pot as you’re confined to home during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak? You can join the Walk Sitka team in the 100 Miles In May Challenge, which this year is starting in April. The 100 Miles In May Challenge allows people to convert a variety of activities into steps, which then are converted to miles for the challenge. The challenge serves as a fundraiser to encourage youth to develop healthy habits of daily physical activity.

In a post on the challenge’s Facebook page, Harlow Robinson, executive director of Healthy Futures Alaska, wrote:

Stay Active, Stay Social

We’re holding 100 Miles in May a month early in hopes of helping everyone stay physically active and socially interactive during this challenging time. We’re calling it the 100 Miles in May Bonus Challenge.
Get registered now at https://100miles.healthyfuturesak.org/ and start getting your teams together. We’ll kick it off April 1st and hold back-to-back 100 Mile Challenges in April and May.
100 Miles in May is our annual fundraiser and the pledges received provide critical funding for our non-profit Healthy Futures program. Whatever your pledge amount, we are grateful for that support. If you can’t afford a pledge at this time, see the hardship email link during registration. We’ve got you covered. Workplace or family teams need only one pledge from the team leader. Leaderboards and totals will reset on May 1st but no need to pledge twice.
We hope you’ll join us and share with your friends and neighbors. Wishing you well as we all work through this together.
• Harlow Robinson, Executive Director, Healthy Futures”
The 100 Miles In May Challenge is a fundraiser for the Healthy Futures program of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. The program’s mission is to empower youth to build the habit of daily physical activity.  The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame honors athletes, events, and moments in Alaska sports history at a permanent gallery at the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage.
Participants solicit pledges (or pledge on their own) per mile or a flat fee , but pledging is optional if you have a financial hardship. To register for the challenge, go to this link and sign up. You can fly solo in the challenge, or you can join a team. To join the Walk Sitka team, once you’ve registered go to this link.

Second annual Alaska Walk and Bike Conference postponed until June 2021

The second annual Alaska Walk and Bike Conference, originally scheduled for June 9-13 in Sitka, is being postponed a year until June 2021.

The postponement is due to the COVID-19 coronavirus and its impact on travel and hospitality services, and for our desire to prevent the spread of the disease. The conference organizers want everybody to be safe and to prevent the spread of a potentially lethal disease.

A rescheduled date will be announced as details are confirmed. Anybody who has pre-registered for the conference will be contacted about refunds.

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the morning of Thursday, March 12

The Sitka office of Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, March 12.  Seniors should meet at the Swan Lake Senior Center for transportation to the Sitka Cross Trail trailhead. near Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School

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 or twice 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.

In addition to the hiking event on March 12, SAIL will offer more activities for seniors in February. From 10-11 a.m. on all Tuesdays (starting Sept. 3), SAIL will join the Senior Walking Hours event from 10-11 a.m. at the Hames Athletic and Wellness Center. This is a great opportunity for seniors to get their walks in when the weather outside is cold and icy. For other events, check the calendar (downloadable PDF posted below).

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 Anna Hennessey at 747-6859 or email her at ahennessey@sailinc.org. The calendar includes hiking, orienteering, kayaking, and other events for seniors, youth, and the disabled.

 

• SAIL events calendar for March 2020

SEARHC, Stride 365 co-host Run/Walk for Sitka Tribe of Alaska Food Pantry on Saturday, March 7

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) and Run Sitka’s Stride 365 program will co-host the 5K Run/Walk for National Nutrition Month on Saturday, March 7.

Runners should meet at 9 a.m. for a 9:30 a.m. race start at the O’Connell Bridge Lightering Facility. The cost of the five-kilometer race and two-mile walk is a suggested donation of $10. Proceeds this month benefit the Sitka Tribe of Alaska Food Pantry.

Each month SEARHC and Run Sitka (#runsitka) host a Stride 365 event on the first Saturday of every month, with proceeds going to a different charity in Sitka.

For more information, please contact Heleena van Veen by email at heleenav@searhc.org, or by phone at 966-8914.

SAIL Senior Hiking Club sets next hike for the morning of Thursday, Feb. 27

The Sitka office of Southeast Alaska Independent Living Inc. (SAIL) has announced its next Senior Hiking Club hike event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Feb. 27.  Seniors should meet at the Swan Lake Senior Center for transportation to the Green Lake Road Trail trailhead.

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 or twice 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.

In addition to the hiking event on Feb. 27, SAIL will offer more activities for seniors in February. From 10-11 a.m. on all Tuesdays (starting Sept. 3), SAIL will join the Senior Walking Hours event from 10-11 a.m. at the Hames Athletic and Wellness Center. This is a great opportunity for seniors to get their walks in when the weather outside is cold and icy. For other events, check the calendar posted below.

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 Anna Hennessey at 747-6859 or email her at ahennessey@sailinc.org. The calendar includes hiking, orienteering, kayaking, and other events for seniors, youth, and the disabled.

• SAIL events calendar for February 2020