Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Kaitlin Vadla (right) talks to Mary Ann Dyke about Cook Inletkeeper at the Kenai Peninsula College's Earthday celebration, Tuesday, April 22, at KRC.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Kaitlin Vadla (right) talks to Mary Ann Dyke about Cook Inletkeeper at the Kenai Peninsula College's Earthday celebration, Tuesday, April 22, at KRC.

KPC Earth Day celebration looks forward, back

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014 11:24pm
  • News

A modest crowd attended the the Kenai Peninsula College Earth Day celebration, sacrificing an evening of fair weather to learn about the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge’s summer-long commemoration of this year’s 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

Park Ranger Leah Eskelin was the Refuge spokeswoman for the evening. She educated attendees about special programs and events the refuge will be hosting in honor of the evolving National Wilderness Preservation System.

The refuge has had an informational booth at KPC Earth Day events in the past. This year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered with KPC to premiere the local plans for the nationally celebrated anniversary.

“The 50th anniversary is in perfect harmony, and jived with earth day,” Eskelin said. In the years since 1964, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act, the growth in people’s awareness of conservation is astonishing, she said.

Programs at the refuge will focus on reacquainting the public with the accessible wilderness areas around them, Eskelin said. Guided nature walks and hikes, boat trips and kids’ activities will take people to stretches of the refuge people rarely get to.

Two hours into the event, lights in the McLane Commons were dimmed, signaling the start of the presentation by Andy Loranger, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge manager.

Following Loranger’s brief history on the refuge and a virtual tour, he played the Academy Award nominated documentary “Wild By Law,” to a silent and engaged audience.

Representative for the Cook Inletkeeper, Kaitlin Vadla, discussed two of the regions major resources — water and salmon.

“If we want clean water and healthy salmon it starts with us and our choices right now,” Vadla said. “Alaskans have the right to healthy salmon now and 100 years from now.”

Dave Atcheson, KPC’s Night and Kenai Fishing Academy Coordinator, organized the Earth Day event, part of the KPC Showcase series, with Krista Timlin, Career and Community Engagement Program Manager.

Atcheson said this year’s event was more low key than in years past, but the information and importance on the celebration is no less relevant or critical.

The wilderness is a great resource Alaskans have access to, Atcheson said. It is also something that needs to be continually recognized as something to take responsibility for, Atcheson said.

Kelly Sullivan can be reached at Kelly.Sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Renewable IPP CEO Jenn Miller presents information about solar power during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Company looks to build solar farm on peninsula

It would be roughly 20 times the size of the largest solar farm currently in the state.

(Image courtesy CDC)
Officials: COVID is at a plateau in Alaska

The approved COVID vaccines, Zink said, are the best tool to get cases to drop off.

Clem Tillion of Halibut Cove poses for a photo on Jan. 9, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. The veteran Alaska legislator was passing through Homer while waiting to take the M/V Tustumena ferry to Kodiak. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Clem Tillion, PFD founder and former legislator, dies at 96

Tillion died Wedneday, Oct. 13, at Halibut Cove home.

“Soctober” will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, at the Cook Inlet Counseling parking lot at 10200 Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai, and consists of rock painting, the winter gear giveaway and a free spaghetti lunch. (Image via Cook Inlet Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse)
Recovery group to host outreach event

The event will include rock painting, the winter gear giveaway and a free spaghetti lunch.

Finn Petersen, left, is announced the winner of a $49,000 Alaska 529 scholarship on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, as part of the “Give AK a Shot” COVID-19 vaccine program. (Photo via the Alaska Chamber of Commerce)
Anchorage residents win latest vaccine lottery

“Give AK a Shot” awards $49,000 in cash scholarships to one newly vaccinated adult and one child.

Jason Floyd testifies in opposition to COVID-19 mandates during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Protesters pack council meeting, declare ‘medical liberty’

Attendance at Wednesday’s meeting was reduced to standing-room only.

Baked goods are on display during a Soldotna Chamber of Commerce pie auction in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy Soldotna Chamber of Commerce)
‘Local gourmets’ to share baking skills at Soldotna Pie Auction

The Great British Baking Show-esque event showcases local culinary talent.

A spruce bark beetle is seen on the underside of a piece of bark taken from logs stacked near Central Peninsula Landfill on Thursday, July 1, 2021 near Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Chugach campgrounds to be closed for beetle kill mitigation

Only one campground will be closed at a time, and updates on closures will be shared to the Chugach National Forest’s website.

Most Read