The Sitka Conservation Society celebrated Earth Week by organizing trash clean-ups, a Parade of the Species, and an Eco-Challenge. The Sitka community was incredibly supportive to make all of these events successful! Thank you to our amazing SCS photographers Bethany Goodrich and Luke A''Bear for capturing these moments.
Clean the Scene
SCS staff, Sitka Spruce Tips Alaska Way-of Life 4-H Club, and Mt. Edgecumbe students dedicated their Earth Day to participate in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Clean the Scene. Clean the Scene trash clean ups are trash clean-ups targeted at locations where bears have dragged garbage into the forest. The Sitka Conservation Society staff picked up trash along Granite Creek Road around the golf course and Sitka’s youth from 4-H and Mt. Edgecumbe focused on cleaning the area of Indian River Road.
The SCS staff hauled out over 15 bags of trash near the golf course to keep Sitka's bears wild.
The 4-H Club and Mt. Edgecumbe students focused on cleaning the area of Indian River Road.
Parade of the Species
On Friday, April 24th the Sitka Conservation Society sponsored the 14th Annual Parade of Species to celebrate Earth Day. This year, over one hundred and fifty children and parents participated in the parade! A blue heron, octopuses, wolves, turtles a smack of jellyfish (and many more!) marched down Lincoln street in style, ending at Harrigan Centennial Hall where everyone enjoyed healthy snacks, a costume contest, and activity booths by local organizations on Earth Day related topics. SCS would like to thank everyone involved in this event.
The costume winners varied from a woodpecker, octopus, angler-fish, tube-worm, halibut, and crab!
The angler-fish was one of the costume-winners for the "Most Creative" category.
Thank you to all of the organizations that set-up booths and celebrated with the marchers after the parade including the National Park Service, the Sitka Bike Friendly Community Group, Cooperative Extension and 4-H, the Sitka Herring Festival, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Raptor Center, the Sitka Sound Science Center, and Mt. Edgecumbe students and representatives, and dedicated SCS staff face-painters.
The Parade of Species is a fun way to remember the principles of Earth Day and to encourage children to get involved and to learn about and discuss current environmental issues, as well as share their own insights and perspectives about wildlife, plants and conservation.
For example, a tortoise reminded participants that “The biggest threats to this tortoises are people. So if you see somebody destroying their habitat, ask them to stop!” We hope that people will choose to celebrate Earth Day not just once a year, but every day. At SCS, we are glad to see that the Parade has become a community tradition and we are happy to be able to sponsor such a well attended and fun event.
Twenty-two participants completed the second annual Kids Eco Challenge in honor of Earth Week on Saturday, April 25. A chilly, clear morning welcomed boys and girls, K-6th grade, to work together, share skills and have fun practicing Leave No Trace Wilderness Ethics in the Tongass National Forest and Alaska State Park. Six teams maneuvered the course biking, hiking, and tandem paddling while practicing compass navigation, fire building, and naturalist identification. And of course, bear safety: a bear was reported in the area at noon, while we were .5 miles away on the beach!
Participants practiced bike safety and teamwork while cheering on teammates during the bike portion of the 2015 Kids Eco Challenge to celebrate Earth Week.
Participants worked with their teams to practice LNT fire building and kayaking during the 2015 Kids Eco Challenge.
When asked what one participant thought of the morning, he responded grinning, “I LOVED IT.” Another eagerly exclaimed, “we kinda just did a triathlon!”. Boys and girls, volunteers and parents seemed to have a great time. Thanks to all the volunteers who assisted with risk management and safety at the event. Thank you to co-coordinator, parent volunteer, Jen Groncki for making this fun event possible!