• Bob Gorman to lead garden tour on July 31 as part of Sitka Seafood Festival

Bob Gorman, Extension Agent of the Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, shows some germinating seed starts during a free garden workshop on March 11, 2009.

Bob Gorman, Extension Agent of the Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, shows some germinating seed starts during a free garden workshop on March 11, 2009.

University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service Professor Emeritus Bob Gorman will lead a walking garden tour at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 31, as part of the Sitka Seafood Festival.

The tour should last about 90 minutes, and participants should dress for the weather and be prepared for a walking tour with several stops. The garden tour will feature visits to a mixture of ornamental landscapes and food gardens in the downtown area.

Many of these gardens on this tour are private, home gardens, so no public map will be released for privacy reasons. However, last September when a cruise was in town with participants in the 2013 International Master Gardeners Conference, there was a similar tour of public gardens in town and there was a map (PDF document) provided to participants (note, the USDA Experimental Farm site in Sitka usually is closed to the public).

The event is free, but pre-registration is required and can be done by calling UAF Cooperative Extension Service Sitka District office at 747-9440 or emailing Jasmine Shaw at jdshaw2@alaska.edu by noon on July 31.

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• UAF Cooperative Extension Service hosts planning meeting for International Master Gardener Cruise in 2013

There will be a planning meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus for local activities related to the 2013 International Master Gardener Conference.

The International Master Gardener 2013 Conference will be aboard the Holland America cruise ship MS Westerdam, which will stop in Sitka from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Conference planners expect more than 900 passengers on the Westerdam will be registered for the IMG conference.

Local IMG conference activities will complement existing commercial cruise ship tours and activities. Examples of possible gardening activities for the IMG Sitka stop include a self-guided tour of the Sitka Pioneer Home, Russian Bishop’s House and downtown gardens, several repeating presentations on Sitka gardening past and present at Harrigan Centennial Hall, a bus tour of Sitka gardens, and a guided tour of the Forest and Muskegs Trail at Old Sitka Historic State Park near Starrigavan Bay. All groups and individuals interested in planning activities for the 2013 IMG Sitka stop are invited to the planning meeting on Aug. 21.

For more information, call the Sitka office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service at 747-9440.