By Robin Mayo
WISE and the Bureau of Land Management-Glennallen Field Office are continuing our tradition of offering summer activities to help local youth learn, grow, and get outside. For summer 2020, our activities will look different to help do our part to mitigate the spread of Covid19. We will also be hosting “Virtual Hikes” via video conference, starting with an exploration of the Alyeska Pipeline on Thursday, June 18th. Contact the WISE office for information on how to attend.
Hikes and activities will be available by request for families and small groups of up to ten people comfortable with being together. This could be several families, youth from a neighborhood who are already hanging out together, or anyone else in your “bubble.” You pick the topic, and we will work with you to figure out a good time and place to meet you and have an outdoor adventure together.
WISE and BLM staff will provide leadership, educational activities, and safety support, but unfortunately will not be able to offer transportation, food, or overnight camps. We will be following protocols set by the State of Alaska to prevent the spread of Covid19, and asking participants to also respect these guidelines. We hope that as the summer progresses we will be able to expand activities, but are also ready to cancel or adapt if Covid cases start showing up locally, or if state mandates change.
Available Activities—Please call the WISE office at 822-3575 or email email@example.com to request activities for your family or group. We will work with you to schedule a day, time, and location that works for you. Most hikes will be about 2 to 3 hours, but we can be flexible depending on the group and activity.
Boreal Forest Hike- Tree ID, forest ecosystems, and how to read the story of a tree’s life in the rings.
Aquatic Ecology- Meet at a pond or stream to learn about macroinvertebrates, the water cycle, and fish ecology.
Mud Volcanoes- The somewhat rugged one mile hike to this local geological oddity is well worth it! Plan on wearing mud boots and old clothes.
Leave No Trace Hike- We will learn about the wonders of the Copper River Watershed, and how to be good stewards of the land with Leave No Trace games and activities.
Ten Essentials Hike - What should you pack for your adventure? We will explore ways to be safe and prepared for any outdoor trip, then enjoy a hike.
Outdoor Art-- We will combine a hike with an art project to grow creativity and observation skills.
Tracks and Scats– Learn how scientists and naturalists use tracks and scat to read the story of the natural world.
Skins and Skulls- Using WISE’s collection of skins and skulls, we will learn about local mammals, then explore the nearby forest looking for signs of their presence.
Other Ideas? We are open to suggestions. If there is a topic you’d like to learn more about, or a local trail you have always wanted to explore, ask!
COVID19 Risk Management Our first priority is the safety of our staff and program participants. Here are the procedures we will be following, and what we will be requesting of our participants.
We will ask that participants be free of any new or unexplained symptoms associated with Covid19, including fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, etc. Participants should not have travelled from outside the state within 14 days, or had close contact with anyone who could be carrying Covid 19.
WISE and BLM staff will wear face coverings whenever we are in close proximity with others, and as much as possible stay 6 feet away. Participants will be encouraged to also follow these practices.
We will be limiting sharing of items, and using wipes and hand sanitizer to clean throughout the program. Adults accompanying the children may be asked to help with activities to minimize close contact between WISE/BLM staff and participants. If the Covid19 risk for our area changes, we will cancel or adapt programs as necessary.
We are looking forward to some adventures, and hope to hear from you!
For more information or to request an activity:
Contact WISE at 822-3575, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who We Are
WISEfriends are several writers connected with Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment, a nonprofit organization located in Alaska's Copper River Valley. Most of these articles originally appeared in our local newspaper, the Copper River Record.