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

 

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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.

St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church to host summer Scripture Walks in the Park at Sitka National Historical Park

Rev. Julie Platson, the new priest in charge at St. Peter's By The Sea Episcopal Church, sprinkles holy water during a recent blessing service at St. Peter's Fellowship Farm. She and her church will lead a series of scripture walks this summer at Sitka National Historical Park.

Rev. Julie Platson, the rector in charge at St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church, sprinkles holy water during a Spring 2015 blessing service at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm. Julie and members of her church will lead a series of scripture walks this summer at Sitka National Historical Park.

St Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church invites the community to join it on Wednesday evenings for its fourth summer of Scripture Walks in the Park. The group will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, from June 6 through Aug. 15, at the Sitka National Historical Park Visitor’s Center.

“It was just an idea I came up with for a  summer offering. I thought it made sense to combine a casual walk with the beauty of God’s creation here in Sitka,” said Rev. Julie Platson, the rector in charge at St. Peter’s.

Also, don’t forget to get a Park Prescriptions card at the park’s visitor center to log your walks in the park, so you can have a chance to win quarterly prizes for each completed card.

For more info, please call the church at 747-3977 or email stpetersbytheseak@gmail.com.

Sitka’s Charles Bingham selected to participate in Walking College Fellowship program

America Walks, a national advocacy organization working to empower communities to create safe, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk, announced today that Charles Bingham of Walk Sitka has been awarded a Walking College Fellowship as part of the 2018 program.

The Fellowship will enable Bingham and other advocates from around the country to participate in a five-month training program designed to strengthen local efforts to make communities more walkable and livable.

“We are delighted to welcome Charles Bingham as a member of the Walking College,” said Emilie Bahr, Walking College Manager with America Walks, “It was a very competitive application process and he will be a great addition to the 2018 class. We look forward to developing his skills and are excited to see his work grow.”

Bingham will complete a six-module distance-education training program this summer, followed by an independent study project in Sitka, and then attend Walk/Bike/Places in New Orleans in the fall. He is the first Alaskan selected to the Walking College Fellowship.

“One of the goals of the first Sitka Health Summit (2007) was to become a walk and bicycle friendly community,” said Bingham, a former newspaper journalist who now works as a freelance media/public relations and grant-writing specialist. “In 2008, Sitka became Alaska’s first official Bicycle Friendly Community (Bronze level), but at the time there wasn’t a similar national program for walking. We repeated our Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community designation in 2012, and moved up to the Silver level in 2016. In 2013, we became Alaska’s first official Walk Friendly Community with a Bronze level designation, and we renewed our Bronze level designation in 2017. Hopefully the knowledge I gain from being a Walking College Fellow will help Sitka upgrade to the Silver or Gold level in the Walk Friendly Community program. I also think I’ll be able to apply the knowledge to my cycling advocacy work.”

Bingham wrote Sitka’s two renewal Bicycle Friendly Community applications (he helped on the first) and also wrote Sitka’s two Walk Friendly Communities applications. In addition to coordinating the Walk Sitka program that came out of the Sitka Health Summit, he also is part of the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition.  He builds the Walk Sitka and Sitka Cycling websites (https://walksitka.wordpress.com and http://sitkacycling.wordpress.com) and administrates the corresponding Facebook pages for each (https://www.facebook.com/WalkSitka/ and https://www.facebook.com/SitkaCycling/). Bingham moderates the Alaska Bicycling and Walking Advocacy Group on Facebook, too.

The Walking College curriculum has been designed to expand the capacity of local advocates to be effective community change agents. Topics include the science behind the benefits of walking, evaluation of built environments, as well as communication skills and building relationships with stakeholders and decision makers. Fellows work with other members of their class and a set of experienced mentors to develop the knowledge and skills needed to create community change. At the conclusion of the Walking College, Fellows will develop a Walking Action Plan for implementation using their new skills.

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About America Walks: America Walks, a nonprofit national organization, is leading the way in empowering communities to create safe, accessible, and enjoyable walking conditions for all. We provide a voice for walking and walkable communities with federal agencies, provide strategy support, training and technical assistance to statewide, regional, and local organizations, and serve as the convener of the national Every Body Walk! Collaborative. Together, America Walks and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative boast 700 allied organizations who across the nation are working to increase walking and support walkable communities for all members. More at http://www.americawalks.org.

About Walk Sitka: Walk Sitka originated from the Sitka Health Summit, when Sitka residents chose making Sitka a more walkable community as one of its first community wellness projects. In 2013, Sitka became the first Alaska city to earn a Bronze level or higher designation from the Walkable Friendly Communities program. In 2017, Sitka renewed its Bronze level designation. Walk Sitka works with a variety of community partners to promote walking events, education, safety upgrades, and more. More at https://walksitka.wordpress.com.

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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Second annual Women’s March On Sitka set for Saturday, Jan. 20

Last year, nearly 1,000 people gathered for the inaugural Women’s March on Sitka, an event held in conjunction with the 2017 Women’s March on Washington. There were so many people marching in Sitka, they wrapped completely around St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral with most of a full traffic lane full.

This year, the second Women’s March on Sitka takes place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20. Marchers of all ages and genders will meet at Crescent Harbor Shelter for a march up Lincoln Street, around St. Michael’s and back down Lincoln Street to the See House behind St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church. This is the same course as last year’s march.

The marchers came out last year for a variety of reasons. Some were protesting the presidency of Donald Trump, especially his disrespect for women and minorities. Others were marching in support of health care and others marched for equality. 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. They expect more of the same this year.

“We will join with like-minded women, men, children and pets the world over to let Washington, D.C., know we are still here, and we are not happy!” event co-organizer Kathy Ingallinera said.

After the march there will be an optional interdenominational prayer service and meditation session, plus hot drinks and cookies. Marchers should bring their own signs and wear their pink hats. For more details, check out the event page on Facebook.

Sitka to host First Day Hike on Monday, Jan. 1, at the Mosquito Cove Trail trailhead parking lot

Sitka will have a First Day Hike, meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 1, at the Mosquito Cove Trail 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.

“What a great way to start the year,” event organizer Jeff Budd said.

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.