Sitka Maritime Heritage Society to host summer camp, harbor walk, and a treasure hunt

The Sitka Maritime Heritage Society is hosting a summer camp, waterfront/harbor walk and a treasure hunt during August.

The Sails, Knots and What-Nots summer camp takes place on Monday, July 31, though Friday, Aug. 4, and is geared toward youth ages 10-15. During the camp, participants will learn about harnessing the wind, sailing knots, designing sailing models, and more. The camp is co-sponsored by the Coast Guard Spouses and Women’s Association. The cost is $200 for SMHS members and Coast Guard, and $220 for non-members. Applications are available at sitkamaritime@gmail.com.

Walk That Dock is a free waterfront and harbor walk set for noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12. Participants will meet at 11:50 a.m. at the SMHS booth at the Sitka Seafood Festival, and then will walk Crescent Harbor, ANB Harbor and the Sitka waterfront to learn about Sitka’s maritime history. If you can’t make this event, check out the SMHS historic harbor and waterfront map posted here (note, map prints out as a double-sided 11×17 document).

All Treasures Wet and Salty is a free family fun day that includes a treasure hunt from noon until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Japonski Island Boathouse. This event also is part of the Sitka Seafood Festival. Young pirates can grab a treasure map to explore the historic boathouse, while more seasoned pirates can explore the SMHS collections.

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Sitka National Historical Park announces National Trails Day events

National Trails Day Poster 2016 Final

On Friday and Saturday, June 3-4, Sitka National Historical Park will celebrate National Trails Day, a day set aside to enjoy and appreciate the recreational opportunities within your public lands.

To celebrate this occasion, the park will be organizing various activities that show that trails aren’t just for walking. This years’ events will highlight alternative recreational opportunities which include Movement Inspired by Nature for kids on Friday and T’ai Chi Chih on Saturday. Participants interested in attending these program should meet at the park’s visitor center.

Sitka National Historical Park’s
National Trails Day event schedule

  • Friday, June 3, 9:30-10:15 a.m. — Movement Inspired by Nature for kids with Jasmine Shaw. Jasmine will lead youth through various movements and poses that mimic the natural world. This program is geared for preschool through second grade-aged youth and their parents or guardians. Youth must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the program.
  • Saturday, June 4, from 2-3 p.m. — T’ai Chi Chih with Martina Kurzer. T’ai Chi Chih consists of 19 stand-alone movements and one pose, and is appropriate for people of all ages. Martina has been an accredited T’ai Chi Chih instructor since 2000.

The National Trails Day activities will be held outside if the weather is conducive for outdoor activities. Events will be moved indoors in the event of adverse weather conditions.

ntd_2013_copyright2_rgb-1024x1019All participants taking part in the National Trails Day activities as well as anyone who recreates within the park is eligible to participate in the Park Prescriptions program. This initiative encourages recreation within the park by providing incentives for participants. Cash drawings awarded by the Sitka Community Hospital Foundation are held quarterly. If you are interested in participating in the program, stop by the park’s visitor center to pick up a punch card.

National Trails Day is a nationwide annual event from the American Hiking Society that celebrates the vast recreational opportunities on America’s trails. Please note that this is a family activity and all children must be supervised.

You are welcome to come for all or part of the event as we join thousands of other people across the country in celebrating the many trails that allow access to the natural world for recreation, education, exploration, solitude, inspiration, and physical and mental health. In 2016, the National Park Service is celebrating its centennial, and you can celebrate by going to the FindYourPark.com website.

For more information about these events, please contact Ryan Carpenter at (907) 747-0121 or 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 the National Park Service at http://http://www.nps.gov. Learn more about Sitka National Historical Park at http://http://www.nps.gov/sitk or visit the park’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaNationalHistoricalPark.

Sitka Sound Science Center, Sitka Trail Works to host naturalist hike on Saturday, Sept. 19

John-Hudson-flyer-2

Join the Sitka Sound Science Center and Sitka Trail Works, Inc., as they team up to host a naturalist hike from 10 a.m. to noon on the Cross Trail.

Aquatic entomologist John Hudson, who is visiting Sitka as part of the science center’s “Scientists in the Schools” program, will lead the hike. Hudson is the author of “Dragonflies of Alaska.” This hike is open to all members of the community, and it is a gentle hike well-suited for families.

To participate, meet at the parking lot near the end of Indian River Road. The route will follow the newly constructed access to the Cross Trail along Yaw Road.

New trail traffic counters installed at Sitka National Historical Park

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SitkaNationalHistoricalParkSignHave you noticed little brown boxes on some of Sitka National Historical Park’s trailside signs?

The park recently installed four traffic counters along the park’s scenic trails. The trail counters are not cameras, they simply provide park managers with an accurate count of the number of people who recreate on the park’s trails. This information is used for annual reporting requirements, budgeting purposes, and maintenance requests.

The original counters were installed in 2014 without protection cases, but were damaged by vandals and the weather.  The counters and their batteries are now encased in brown boxes to protect them from the elements, specifically rain.

Also, a reminder to all cyclists that people are to walk their bicycles through the park trails, not ride them. This is for safety reasons, as there are many elders and children hiking on the trails who may not hear the bikes coming up behind them. In addition, the restriction on biking helps prevent erosion and other damage to the trails. And a reminder that metal detectors are prohibited in all national parks, including Sitka National Historical Park.

Since 2011, there have been no fees collected at the Sitka National Historical Park Visitor Center, which includes the cultural center where Native carving is demonstrated. The only fees are at the Russian Bishop’s House, which uses this fee schedule.

Sitka National Historical Park to host National Trails Day events on Saturday, June 6

Nat'l Trails Day Poster JPEG

SitkaNationalHistoricalParkSignFun for the whole family will be the focus when the Sitka National Historical Park hosts its annual National Trails Day events on Saturday, June 6.

Fun family activities range from scavenger hunts to a toddler hike, allowing families to explore and enjoy the recreational opportunities offered by the park’s trails. In addition, the park also will offer its regular Totem Walk, which explores the stories and legends on the Totem Loop Trail. You can find a detailed schedule at this link.

Sitka National Historical Park’s
National Trails Day Event Schedule

  • Toddler Hiking Group and Picnic, 10:30 a.m. to noon — Join us for a hike along the park’s trails with your toddler. A ranger will join the group and help toddlers complete a scavenger hunt while hiking through the park. Following the hike, at 11:30 a.m., join other families for a beach picnic. Participants are encouraged to bring their own picnicking supplies and refreshments. Please RSVP for the group hike by calling the park’s visitor center at 747-0110.
  • National Trails Day Trail Scavenger Hunt, 2-3 p.m. — How well do you know Sitka National Historical Park’s trails? Find out during the National Trails Day scavenger hunt. This event, designed for school-aged children and their families provides opportunities for participants to discover various park resources. Participants will earn a Junior Ranger sticker at the conclusion of the scavenger hunt.
  • Totem Walk, 2-3 p.m. — The Totem Walk tells the stories and legends of the totem poles on the Totem Loop Trail, focusing on the common totem figures, the origins of the 1903 John Brady collection, carving methods, and the Alaska Native culture of Southeast Alaska. This guided walk is approximately one mile, and lasts about one hour.
  • Ice Cream Social, 3 p.m. — Following the scavenger hunt, enjoy some refreshing ice cream on the seaside porch of the park’s visitor center.

ntd_2013_copyright2_rgb-1024x1019National Trails Day is a nationwide annual event from the American Hiking Society that celebrates the vast recreational opportunities on America’s trails. Please note that this is a family activity and all children must be supervised.

You are welcome to come for all or part of the event as we join thousands of other people across the country in celebrating the many trails that allow access to the natural world for recreation, education, exploration, solitude, inspiration, and physical and mental health. In 2016, the National Park Service will celebrate its centennial, and you can celebrate by going to the FindYourPark.com website.

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 the National Park Service at www.nps.gov. Learn more about Sitka National Historical Park at www.nps.gov/sitk or visit the park’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaNationalHistoricalPark.

Get outdoors and celebrate Winter Trails Day on Saturday, Jan. 10

2015_Winter Trails_FLYER_New

Winter Trails Logo 2015Saturday, Jan. 10, is Winter Trails Day, when several locations around the country will host special events designed to get people outdoors during the winter.

Winter Trails Day is geared toward snowsports, such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, but don’t let Sitka’s lack of snow this winter keep you from getting out on our trail system for a run or hike, or a mountain bike ride on certain designated trails.

Even though no special Winter Trails Day events are scheduled for Jan. 10 in Sitka, it’s still a good opportunity to get outdoors for some recreation. You can go hiking at Sitka National Historical Park‘s totem trails (don’t forget to stop in and get your Park Prescriptions card punched) or visit any of the trails maintained by Sitka Trail Works.

 

Sitka to host its local Christmas Bird Count event on Jan. 4

bird count

This year is the National Audubon Society‘s 115th annual Christmas Bird Count, and Sitka will be one of several Alaska communities to host a local event, with Sitka’s event set for Sunday, Jan. 4.

During this event, local teams will hike around various sections of Sitka in an attempt to count as many different birds they can find. There will be a planning meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1, at the Alaska Raptor Center.

After the event, there will be a slide show to review the various birds seen in Sitka. There is a post-birding party at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Alaska Raptor Center, and snacks will be sponsored by Pet’s Choice Veterinary Hospital.

YardBirdsOfWinterSitka birders who want to practice for the Christmas Bird Count can participate in a free bird walk from 10-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 27, at Sitka National Historical Park. There also will be a Yard Birds of Winter presentation by Sitka naturalist Matt Goff at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 28, at the Kettleson Memorial Library’s temporary home (the old Sheldon Jackson College Stratton Library building).

The Christmas Bird Count, which started nationally in 1900 with Alaska’s first event in 1941, involves thousands of bird-watchers, hikers, nature lovers and more each year. The count is for a 24-hour period and local events can take place from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5 this winter to still count. Last year the Alaska Audubon Society reported Alaska counters saw 139 species and 124,854 total birds, which was lower than usual.

For more information, contact Jen Cedarleaf at 738-0181 or Victoria Vosburg, DVM, at 738-8661.