Girls on the Run to close out season with beach-themed 5K community fun run on May 13

 
The Sitka Girls On The Run program will host celebrate the end of its ninth season with a beach/Hawaiian themed five-kilometer run from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 13, with the start-finish line at the Crescent Harbor covered shelter. The fun run and ceremony will honor the girls, who have been training all spring at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School.

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/GOTR5K2017. Please contact Lauren Havens at lhavens@safv.org or 747-3489 with any questions.
  • Cheerleader — Position yourself along the course between 9:45 a.m. to 11 a.m. to cheer the girls on as they run. The run starts at the Crescent Harbor covered 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 Greater Alaska operates Girls On The Run programs in Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan, Petersburg, and Yakutat, along with similar programs in other Alaska communities. 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 2017 5K Community Fun Run a success.

Alaska Region of the U.S. Forest Service invites public to help identify priority trail maintenance work

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Alaska Region is inviting the public to help identify trails that will be part of a U.S. Forest Service effort with partners and volunteers to increase the pace of trail maintenance.

Nationwide, the Forest Service will select nine to 15 priority areas among its nine regions where a backlog in trail maintenance contributed to reduced access, potential harm to natural resources or trail users and/or has the potential for increased future deferred maintenance costs.

“We look forward to receiving public comments identifying trails in need of maintenance that partners and volunteers are ready to support on the Chugach and Tongass National Forests,” said Becky Nourse, Acting Regional Forester of the Alaska Region. “Trail users and other members of the public can provide important feedback that will help us prioritize our trail maintenance efforts.”

The Alaska Region has until April 20 to submit at least three regional proposals to National Headquarters. Those proposals will be weighed against proposals submitted by other Forest Service regions.

The trail maintenance effort is outlined in the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act of 2016 and aims to increase trail maintenance by volunteers and partners by 100% by the end of 2021.

The selected sites will be part of the initial focus that will include a mosaic of areas with known trail maintenance needs that include areas near urban and remote areas, such as wilderness, are of varying sizes and trail lengths, are motorized and non-motorized, and those that incorporate a varied combination of partner and volunteer approaches and solutions.

The Forest Service manages more than 158,000 miles of trail – the largest trail system in the nation – providing motorized and non-motorized trail access across 154 national forests and grasslands. These Forest Service trails are well-loved and highly used with more than 84 million trail visits annually, helping to support mostly rural economies.

The Forest Service receives widespread support from tens of thousands of volunteers and partners each year who, in 2015, contributed nearly 1.4 million hours – a value of about $31.6 million – in maintenance and repair of nearly 30,000 miles of trails.

However, limited funding compounded by the rising cost of wildfire operations, has reduced the Forest Service’s ability to meet all of the agency’s standards for safety, quality recreation and economic and environmental sustainability.

To provide ideas and suggestions on potential priority areas and approaches for incorporating increased trail maintenance assistance from partners and volunteers, contact your local Forest Service office or Regional Trail Program Manager Sharon Seim by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 17. You are encouraged to provide feedback by phone at: 907-586-8804, or by email at: AKTrailsStewardship@fs.fed.us.

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency also has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

The Alaska Region of the U.S. Forest Service manages almost 22 million acres of land within the Chugach and Tongass National Forests to meet society’s needs for a variety of goods, services, and amenities while enhancing the Forests’ health and productivity, and to foster similar outcomes for State and private forestland across Alaska. See our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r10/home for more information.

Sitka to host First Day Hike on Sunday, Jan. 1, at the Starrigavan trailhead parking lot

 

Mosquito Cove Trail photo by Matt Goff of SitkaTrails.org

Mosquito Cove Trail photo by Matt Goff of SitkaTrails.org

first-day-hikes1Sitka will have a First Day Hike, meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 1, at the Starrigavan trailhead parking lot.

First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks, in partnership with Alaska State Parks, to encourage people to get outdoors. Kids and adults all across America will be participating in First Day Hikes, getting their hearts pumping and enjoying the beauty of a state park.

Last year nearly 28,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking more than 66,000 miles throughout the country. First Day Hikes are led by knowledgeable volunteers.

We will hike the 1 1/2-mile Mosquito Cove loop, and if hikers are interested, hike the 1 1/2-mile Muskeg loop as well. If it is very windy or very, very rainy the hike will be canceled. Walking/hiking poles and YakTrax or similar ice cleats are recommended if the trails are icy.

For more information, call Jeff Budd at 747-4821.

Sitka Trail Works to host annual meeting and potluck dinner on Monday, Oct. 24

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Sitka Trail Works will hold its annual meeting and potluck dinner from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24, at the Harrigan Centennial Hall.

Members and trail enthusiasts are invited to the meeting and asked to bring a main dish, side dish, or dessert to share. Sitka Trail Works will supply beverages, paper plates, etc. Join us for an evening of fun and friendship.

Meeting highlights include a review of this year’s accomplishments, the election of one new board member, ceremonial matters, and a presentation by Matt Goff on the Natural History of Southeast Alaska.

For further information, please call Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244.

Sitka National Historical Park celebrates centennial Aug. 25 with free programs and cake

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NPS100thBirthdayOn Thursday, Aug. 25, the community is invited to Sitka National Historical Park to celebrate Founder’s Day. Founder’s Day is the annual celebration of the creation of the National Park Service.

This is a milestone year for the National Park Service, with 2016 marking its 100th birthday. Centennial celebrations will include new ranger talks, tidepool exploration, a historic photo exhibit, free tours of the Russian Bishop’s House, Russian tea, hikes on the totem trails, and cupcakes. Don’t forget you can count your hikes on the Park Prescriptions program; just get them to stamp your free punchcard at the Visitor Center.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Historic Park Photo Exhibit

Take a walk through time by viewing seldom-seen photos from the park’s past. These historic park photos document the park’s rich history as a unit of the National Park Service. The photo exhibit will be located inside the Visitor Center.

Ranger Table Talks at the Visitor Center

Subsistence Champions, 9-9:45 a.m. — Learn about the multitude of edible, medicinal and all-around useful plants and animals in Southeast Alaska.

A Century of National Park Service, 9:45-10:30 a.m. — While National Parks seem commonplace today, they were a new and radical idea when first created 100 years ago.

Tidepool Exploration, 11 a.m. to noon — Explore and learn about tidepools and their resident creatures.

Salmon, Sea Otters and Eagles, 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Learn about the myriad species of wildlife that make their home in Sitka National Historical Park.

Salmon Talk, 2-3 p.m. — Learn more about the fish who have made life in Southeast Alaska possible for thousands of years.

Centennial Cupcakes at the Visitor Center

Cupcakes, 10:30 a.m. to noon — Cupcakes celebrating the 100th birthday of the National Park Service at the visitor center.

At the Russian Bishop’s House

Russian Tea, 9 a.m. to noon – Russian tea will be served on the front lawn of the Russian Bishop’s House.

Free Tours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Free ranger-guided tours of the restored residence of the Bishop on the second floor.

Learn more about the National Park Service at http://www.nps.gov/. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 407 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 Sitka National Historical Park at http://www.nps.gov/sitk or visit the park’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaNationalHistoricalPark.

KCAW-Raven Radio to host Only Fools Run At Midnight on June 25

 

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Mark your calendars! Sitka’s wildest running event, the 13th annual Only Fools Run at Midnight, is coming up at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, June 25, at the Sitka Fire Hall. KCAW-Raven Radio is delighted to bring you this costume-clad evening full of family fun and prizes.

Registration is open at kcaw.org and the entry fee is $20. Prizes awarded for fastest finishers, best costumes, and wackiest centipede (five or more people attached in some form or fashion). Creativity is encouraged.

We’ll have t-shirts for the first 175 to register, and lots of entertainment and fun to keep folks wide awake for the midnight run.

For questions and more information, visit www.kcaw.org or contact 747-5877 or send email to foolsrun@kcaw.org.

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Sitka Trail Works to host guided kayak trek to Fort Rousseau WWII installation

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SitkaTrailWorksLogoSitka Trail Works is sponsoring a guided kayak trek to the Fort Rousseau Causeway State Historic Site on Saturday, June 25.

This trek features two hours of kayak paddling, plus a 2 1/2-hour easy stroll to the historic World War II installations. For the more adventurous, there are a few sections of difficult scrambling over large armor rock to go further along the causeway.

Contact Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures at 752-0660 to reserve a spot for just $99 plus tax (a $50 discount from usual price). You’ll see ammunition bunkers and machine gun platforms. If you intend to go inside the bunkers, you’ll need a flashlight or headlamp. Water and a snack are suggested. This trip is a good way to learn more about Sitka’s role in World War II.

Meet at 9:15 a.m. at the big blue Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures bus in the Crescent Harbor parking lot. Thank you Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures for partnering on this Sitka Trail Works fundraiser. For more information, contact Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244.

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