Sitka Sound Science Center lists guided tidepool walks for July

Join a Sitka Sound Science Center interpreter for a morning of intertidal exploration during four guided tidepool walks in July (there also will be some in August, but the schedule hasn’t been announced). The July walks are at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, July 13; at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 16; at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 17; and at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 30. The times vary because of the tides.

We will meet at the science center for a brief overview of the intertidal zone and what we can expect to see on the beach, as well as a beach etiquette talk. After that, we will head out to the beach adjacent to the Science Center for our beach walk.

The cost is $10, and includes all day admission to the aquarium and salmon hatchery. For more information, contact SSSC aquarium outreach manager Sandy McClung at 747-8878, Ext. 16, or smcclung@sitkascience.org.

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Sitka Cancer Survivors Society to host celebration walk June 24 at Path of Hope park

A sculpture by Stephen Lawrie on the Path of Hope trail in Sitka.

The Sitka Cancer Survivors Society is planning a celebration event from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, in honor of June being National Cancer Survivor Month.

The society invites all those interested in joining them in walking through the “Path of Hope” park, celebrating with cancer survivors, their families and friends.

Come meet the board members to find out what we are all about, how we got started, and what we do to help support all those dealing with cancer. Refreshments will be served by the Sitka Emblem Club  No. 142. Come and enjoy the beautiful park, and celebrate with fellow cancer survivors and their families.

The Path of Hope Inspirational Park is located on Moller Drive, behind Sitka Community Hospital and behind the running track at Moller Field.

The Sitka Cancer Survivors Society provides support for Sitka residents undergoing cancer treatment, and survivors of cancer. Any questions, please contact Carolyn Fredrickson at 623-7028.

• 2013 SCSS Path of Hope Brochure

 

Sitka Sound Science Center to host guided tidepool walks this summer

Join a Sitka Sound Science Center interpreter for a morning of intertidal exploration during three guided tidepool walks in June (there also will be some in July, but the schedule hasn’t been announced). The June walks are at 9 a.m. on Friday, June 15; at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 18; and at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, June 29.

We will meet at the science center for a brief overview of the intertidal zone and what we can expect to see on the beach, as well as a beach etiquette talk. After that, we will head out to the beach adjacent to the Science Center for our beach walk.

The cost is $10, and includes all day admission to the aquarium and salmon hatchery. For more information, contact SSSC aquarium outreach manager Sandy McClung at 747-8878, Ext. 16, or smcclung@sitkascience.org.

Help us do walking/biking traffic counts and walk audits around Sitka

Hello, my name is Charles Bingham and I run the Walk Sitka website. In April, I was named to the Walking College Fellowship program coordinated by the national walking advocacy nonprofit America Walks. As part of the Walking College program, I have to work on a walking action plan for the community, and I need your help.

Over the last few years, I’ve written Sitka’s two Walk Friendly Communities program applications, and we earned a Bronze designation in 2013 and repeated at the Bronze level in 2017. In the report card we were given after the application process, one of our weaknesses was in the Evaluation part of the Five E’s (Education, Encouragement, Engineering, Enforcement and Evaluation), the main five question categories in the application. To improve our score in the Evaluation part of the application, we need to gather more data. If we don’t have good data to know how walking and biking traffic moves through Sitka, then we can’t make sure we have adequate infrastructure to handle the needs.

Part of my walking action plan will be focused on gathering this data by conducting walking/biking traffic counts at different intersections at various times of the day, and doing some walk audits/walk assessments where people walk some of our streets and note problems such as broken sidewalks, power poles blocking sidewalks, poor lighting, accessibility issues for someone in a wheelchair, etc. This is where I need your help.

As I mentioned in my Morning Interview on Tuesday, May 29, on KCAW-Raven Radio, I need volunteers to help me do walking/biking traffic counts at various intersections and to do walk audits along some of our streets. These will only take an hour or two of your time, and you can pick the time, day, and intersection to count or street to audit. We need a good mix of times and conditions for the traffic counts (mornings, nights, cruise ship days, non-cruise ship days, etc.), and it’s good to get a variety of streets audited.

If you want to help, you can print out the forms posted below and go out and record your findings. Or you can give me a call at 907-623-7660 or email me at charleswbingham3@gmail.com. Your help is greatly appreciated. All data collected will be shared with the Sitka Planning Department to help plan future walking and biking upgrades in Sitka.

• Three-Page Walking/Biking Traffic Count Form

• Walkability and Walking Tour Assessment of Land Use (City of Sitka document for Katlian Street, but can be modified for other streets)

• AARP Walk Audit Tool Kit

• AARP Walk Audit Leader Guide

Sitka Trail Works announces Thimbleberry Lake Trail maintenance project for National Trails Day

Help Sitka Trail Works celebrate National Trails Day by participating in its annual trail maintenance event.

Meet from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, at the Thimbleberry Lake Trail trailhead entrance. This year’s trail maintenance event will feature Sitka Trail Works board members and others making repairs to the Thimbleberry Trail. Don’t forget to bring your water bottle, and favorite gloves, pruners, trash grabbers and loppers. Tools and snacks will be provided.

More information is available at http://www.sitkatrailworks.org or by calling 747-7244. Any preteens/teens who are younger than 18 and want to help need to be there with an adult and have a liability wavier signed by their legal guardian.

Sitka Trail Works releases weekend guided hike schedule for the 2018 spring and summer

Sitka Trail Works will kick off its 2018 summer series of weekend hikes on Saturday, May 5, with a moderate to strenuous bike ride of up to 10 miles along the Cross Trail. Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Indian River Trailhead (near the corner of Indian River Road and Yaw Drive) to join the ride.

That will be followed on Sunday, May 13, by a short hike on the Ben Grussendorf Forest and Muskeg Estuary Trail. Meet at 1:30 p.m. at the gravel boat launch at Starrigavan State Park to join the hike. Note, the calendar posted below has been updated to change the date of the Fort Rousseau kayak trip.

The series of weekend hikes are led by various members of Sitka Trail Works, and there also are occasional geocaching events, bike rides and kayak trips on the schedule. Most of the hikes near town are free (donations are accepted), but some of the hikes require a boat trip and those have fees. The schedule runs through the end of August.

On National Trails Day (Saturday, June 2), Sitka Trail Works and other groups will do repair work to trails TBA. Tools will be available, but you should bring gloves, pruners and toppers, if you have them.

In other news, Sitka Trail Works recently received funding for Phase 6 of the Cross Trail, and construction is expected to start in FY 2019. But in order to claim the $1.8 million to finish the last 2.6 miles of the Cross Trail, Sitka Trail Works needs to raise $20,000 in matching funds. In addition, Sitka Trail Works plans a major maintenance project on the Indian River Trail during the 2018 summer, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and Juneau Trail Mix.

Don’t forget to check the Sitka Trail Works website for current trail condition reports and hike updates (several hikes have changed dates since originally announced.

• Spring 2018 Sitka Trail Works newsletter

• Sitka Trail Works 2018 hike schedule (updated June 4)

About 400 walkers take part in second annual Women’s March on Sitka

Even though they didn’t start advertising the second annual Women’s March on Sitka until the middle of the week, there still were about 400 walkers who showed up on Saturday, Jan. 20, to protest Donald Trump’s America. The crowd was smaller than in the inaugural Women’s March on Sitka last year, but that might be due to limited marketing.

The march was held in conjunction with hundreds of similar marches across the United States, as well as in some international communities. It took place on the first anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, and most of the marchers protested how Trump’s administration has performed in its first year in office. In addition to protecting women’s rights and limiting sexual harassment, marchers carried signs supported funding Planned Parenthood, protecting immigrants, supporting health care, encouraged protecting the environment, saving the Tongass National Forest, keeping Alaska’s salmon runs sustainable, and even calling for Trump’s impeachment.

The marchers gathered at the Crescent Harbor covered shelter, then marched up Lincoln Street to loop around St. Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Cathedral, then marched back down Lincoln Street to St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church. The crowd was mixed about two-thirds female and one-third male, with several people marching with their dogs. There also were many families marching, including a few three-generation clans.

One difference this year was marchers had to stay on the sidewalk instead of using the street (as they did last year), and that made it a bit harder to count the crowd. The weather was cloudy and in the low-40s (warmer than last year), with a few sprinkles at the end of the march.

A slideshow of scenes from the march is posted below.

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