Emerson Kapp, second-place winner of the 2023 Caring for the Kenai competition, shows participants how to use her project, the Kenai Peninsula Maze Board, during the Kenai River Festival on Friday, June 9, 2023, at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Emerson Kapp, second-place winner of the 2023 Caring for the Kenai competition, shows participants how to use her project, the Kenai Peninsula Maze Board, during the Kenai River Festival on Friday, June 9, 2023, at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai River Fair to offer education, fun for free on June 8

Kenai Watershed Forum’s annual summer event gets new name, renewed focus on education

The Kenai Watershed Forum’s annual summer event will return to Soldotna Creek Park next weekend, with a new name and a renewed focus on education and the environment. The Kenai River Fair is set to run Saturday, June 8, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sara Aamodt, membership and development coordinator for the forum, said Wednesday that the event is an opportunity to learn about the environment and natural resources like the Kenai River.

The focus on education follows an expansion of the educational offering at last year’s event, when the forum debuted the Kenai Watershed Forum Education Zone. That focus has continued to grow this year.

In the fair’s new form, Aamodt said, everything will be free, and the space will be filled with hands-on opportunities to learn about the environment and celebrate the river. There will be a variety of educators and partner agencies focused on ecosystems, animals, the river, history and culture. The programming is intended to be accommodating and accessible to children, with lots of chances to get “hands-on.”

“There’s plenty of opportunities to learn about different things,” she said. “In a casual, no-stress event.”

Held the same day is the forum’s Run for the River, which begins at 8 a.m., before the start of the fair. The run starts at the forum’s offices, adjacent to Soldotna Creek Park, and loops along the Kenai River. There is a 5-kilometer route and a 10-mile course. Registration is open now on the forum’s website.

The fair and the run make up the biggest public event put on by the forum each year. Aamodt said it’s a big, community offering and a chance to show off the work the forum is doing.

Between the forum and its partners, she said there are tons of opportunities to get involved and lots of ways to make a difference. A “little bit of help” can make a big impact for the environment.

It’s also, she said, a great opportunity to hang out and have fun along the river.

For more information about the Kenai River Fair or the Run for the River, find “Kenai Watershed Forum” on Facebook.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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