Sitka’s renewal application for a 2017 Walk Friendly Communities designation has been submitted

Walk Sitka has submitted its renewal application for a 2017 Walk Friendly Communities award designation. The application period closed on Thursday, June 15, and results will be announced in a few months. In 2013, Sitka earned a Bronze Level WFC designation, and we’re hoping to move up to Silver or Gold this year.

Applying for a Walk Friendly Communities designation was one of three community wellness projects chosen at the 2012 Sitka Health Summit. By going through this national award application process we hoped to gain a better handle on the status of walking in Sitka and what we can do to improve it. We feel there have been many improvements to walking in Sitka just in the past year, with the launch of many walking programs (Park Prescriptions, Sitka Trail Works weekend hikes, Senior Hiking Club, etc.), the construction on the Sitka Sea Walk and upcoming expansions, continued construction on the Cross Trail and other Sitka Trail Works projects, and more.

The 72-page community assessment tool, which helps communities fill out the application, has nine sections — Community Profile, Status of Walking, Planning, Education and Encouragement, Engineering, Enforcement, Evaluation and Additional Questions. Once submitted, the actual application printed out at 40 pages.

A copy of our 2013 and 2017 applications are posted below, along with our 2013 report card from the WFC program. Feel free to review it and let us know ways we can make Sitka more walk friendly. So far, Sitka is the only community in Alaska to earn a Bronze Level or higher Walk Friendly Communities designation (Juneau received an honorable mention in 2010). Don’t forget to like our Facebook page and watch this site for updates.

• 2017 Walk Friendly Communities application for Sitka, Alaska

• 2013 Walk Friendly Communities application for Sitka, Alaska

• Sitka, Alaska, 2013 Walk Friendly Communities Report Card and Feedback

Get up and move on Wednesday, April 6, for National Walking Day

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Wednesday, April 6, is the American Heart Association‘s National Walking Day, and on this day companies, organizations and individuals across America are going to wear sneakers to work, take 30 minutes to walk and pledge to live heart-healthy lives.

Photo courtesy of Sitka National Historical Park

Photo courtesy of Sitka National Historical Park

These days, adults like spend more time at work than ever before, much of it chained to a desk. An unfortunate side effect is that, as a nation, we’re becoming more inactive. This is a problem when you consider the fact that physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease.

On National Walking Day, employees are encouraged to wear sneakers to work and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk. It’s a great way to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and to give your co-workers a friendly push toward a healthier life.

By downloading the National Walking Day toolkit, worksite employee wellness teams can design one-day walking events or six-week walking programs to help get employees and bosses more active. Some tips include holding walking meetings, setting up printers so you have to walk down the hall to get your printouts, standing up every time you talk on the phone, and holding lunchtime walks. Getting out and walking helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer and other medical conditions, and walking also helps relieve work stress and gives employees a chance to recharge for the rest of the work day.

In Sitka, people can participate in a variety of walking/hiking programs, such as Park Prescriptions and the Park Prescriptions Active April Challenge, the Senior Walking Hours program at the Hames Center, the Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL) Senior Hiking Club (note, next hike is 1-3:15 p.m. on April 14 on the Cross Trail), Sitka Trail Works, and more. Or they can walk on their own, with family or their dogs. Just get out and enjoy Sitka’s natural beauty by hiking one of Sitka’s numerous trails, the Sitka Sea Walk, or through the totem trails at Sitka National Historical Park.

Get up and move on Wednesday, April 1, for National Walking Day

natl-walking-day-2015

Wednesday, April 1, is the American Heart Association‘s National Walking Day, and on this day companies, organizations and individuals across America are going to wear sneakers to work, take 30 minutes to walk and pledge to live heart-healthy lives.

These days, adults like spend more time at work than ever before, much of it chained to a desk. An unfortunate side effect is that, as a nation, we’re becoming more inactive. This is a problem when you consider the fact that physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease.

nwd_2015_icon_smOn National Walking Day, employees are encouraged to wear sneakers to work and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk. It’s a great way to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and to give your co-workers a friendly push toward a healthier life.

By downloading the National Walking Day toolkit, worksite employee wellness teams can design one-day walking events or six-week walking programs to help get employees and bosses more active. Some tips include holding walking meetings, setting up printers so you have to walk down the hall to get your printouts, standing up every time you talk on the phone, and holding lunchtime walks. Getting out and walking helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer and other medical conditions, and walking also helps relieve work stress and gives employees a chance to recharge for the rest of the work day.

In Sitka, people can participate in a variety of walking/hiking programs, such as Park Prescriptions, the Wednesday Walk In The Parks, the Senior Hiking Club, Sitka Trail Works, and more. Or they can walk on their own, with family or their dogs. Just get out and enjoy Sitka’s natural beauty by hiking one of Sitka’s numerous trails, the Sitka Sea Walk, or through the totem trails at Sitka National Historical Park.

Chamber music and ‘Violins In The Trees’ to highlight Wednesday event at Sitka National Historical Park

TakingBows

People hiking along the totem trails at noon on Wednesday, June 18, at Sitka National Historical Park will be treated to a free outdoor chamber music concert and a “Violins In The Trees” art installation by local artists in the annual Concert In The Park event sponsored by the Sitka Summer Music Festival and the Greater Sitka Arts Council.

There will be a short quarter-mile hike for the free concert, which features Sitka Summer Music Festival artistic director/cellist Zuill Bailey playing the Schubert String Quintet in C Major with the Catalyst Quartet. The annual concert in the park has been a fun event for the festival every year, drawing large crowds of locals and tourists (both music lovers in town for the festival and visitors off the cruise ships). Concert goers should feel free to bring their own folding chairs and blankets.

Hanging off trees along the totem trails will be dozens of Violins In The Trees, old and/or broken violins that local artists paid $25 each to decorate as a benefit for the Greater Sitka Arts Council. The arts council will auction off the decorated violins to raise funds for a variety of events it hosts throughout the year. Last year, the arts council had decorated plywood cutouts of salmon hanging in the trees in recognition of the Salmon in the Trees book about salmon forests by Amy Gulick and the interaction between the salmon, trees and animals of the forest.

 

Get up and move on Wednesday, April 2, for National Walking Day

NationalWalkingDay2014Logolarge

Wednesday, April 2, is the American Heart Association‘s National Walking Day, and on this day companies, organizations and individuals across America are going to wear sneakers to work, take 30 minutes to walk and pledge to live heart-healthy lives.

These days, adults like spend more time at work than ever before, much of it chained to a desk. An unfortunate side effect is that, as a nation, we’re becoming more inactive. This is a problem when you consider the fact that physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease.

NationalWalkingDayLogomediumOn National Walking Day, employees are encouraged to wear sneakers to work and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk. It’s a great way to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and to give your co-workers a friendly push toward a healthier life.

By downloading the National Walking Day toolkit, worksite employee wellness teams can design one-day walking events or six-week walking programs to help get employees and bosses more active. Some tips include holding walking meetings, setting up printers so you have to walk down the hall to get your printouts, standing up every time you talk on the phone, and holding lunchtime walks. Getting out and walking helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer and other medical conditions, and walking also helps relieve work stress and gives employees a chance to recharge for the rest of the work day.

In Sitka, people can participate in a variety of walking/hiking programs, such as Park Prescriptions, the Wednesday Walk In The Parks, the Senior Hiking Club and more. Or they can walk on their own, with family or their dogs to get out and enjoy Sitka’s natural beauty.

Chamber music concert and Salmon In The Trees highlighted in Wednesday event at Sitka National Historical Park

TotemTrailEntrance

SteamPunkSalmonBetterPeople hiking along the totem trails at Sitka National Historical Park on Wednesday were treated to chamber music and Salmon In The Trees decorated by local artists in an event sponsored by the Sitka Summer Music Festival and the Greater Sitka Arts Council.

More than a hundred people took the short hike for the free concert, which featured Sitka Summer Music Festival musicians led by festival music director and cellist Zuill Bailey. The annual concert in the park has been a fun event for the festival every year, drawing large crowds of locals and tourists (both music lovers in town for the festival and visitors off the cruise ships).

Hanging off trees along the totem trails were dozens of Salmon In The Trees, pieces of plywood cut into the shape of salmon that local artists paid $25 each to decorate as a benefit for the arts council. The arts council auctions off the decorated salmon to raise funds for a variety of events it hosts throughout the year.

The Salmon In The Trees theme was picked to show the importance of our local salmon runs to our forests, which was highlighted by a recent book with the same name from photographer Amy Gulick (with essays from Southeast Alaska writers). Since soil in the rain forest tends to lose nutrients with the moisture, but bears, eagles, ravens and other animals help fertilize the soil when they carry salmon carcasses from nearby streams into the forests.

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Sitka’s application for a 2013 Walk Friendly Communities designation has been submitted

WFC_LogoWalk Sitka has submitted its application for a 2013 Walk Friendly Communities award designation. The application period closes on Saturday, June 15, and results will be announced in a few months.

Applying for a Walk Friendly Communities designation was one of three community wellness projects chosen at the 2012 Sitka Health Summit. By going through this national award application process we hoped to gain a better handle on the status of walking in Sitka and what we can do to improve it. We feel there have been many improvements to walking in Sitka just in the past year, with the launch of many walking programs (Park Prescriptions, Wednesday walks in the park, Senior Hiking Club, etc.), the start of construction on the Sitka Sea Walk, continued construction on the Cross Trail and other Sitka Trail Works projects, and more.

The 72-page community assessment tool, which helps communities fill out the application, has nine sections — Community Profile, Status of Walking, Planning, Education and Encouragement, Engineering, Enforcement, Evaluation and Additional Questions. Once submitted, the actual application printed out at 37 pages.

A copy of our application is posted below. Feel free to review it and let us know ways we can make Sitka more walk friendly. So far, Sitka is the second community in Alaska to apply for a Walk Friendly Communities designation (Juneau received an honorable mention in 2010). Don’t forget to like our Facebook page and watch this site for updates.

• 2013 Walk Friendly Communities application for Sitka, Alaska