• Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center committee to present project update to Sitka Parks and Rec Committee

Community Greenhouse Turn Around_Page_1

Community Greenhouse Turn Around_Page_2Are you interested in seeing year-round produce and flower production in Sitka? The Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center ad-hoc committee will give a project update to the City and Borough of Sitka Parks and Recreation Committee at noon on Thursday, May 1, at the Harrigan Centennial Hall Exhibit Room.

The Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center idea started off as a project from the 2008 Sitka Health Summit, but problems acquiring land kept the center from advancing much beyond the concept stage. In recent months, the project gained some new momentum when city officials suggested using land at the city’s Turnaround Park (the old amphibious plane turnaround near the corner of Halibut Point Road and Katlian Street, where the Sitka Skatepark and Sitka Trail Works office are located).

The current proposal is to build a 25-foot-diameter geodesic dome in the middle of the site’s current parking lot. As the project grows, the plan is to build a 90-foot-diameter geodesic dome in the center (the smaller geodesic dome will be moved to another location), with two conventional greenhouses along the ridge by Katlian Street and by the guardrail by the Sitka Trail Works building. There also are plans for some garden landscaping around the site to help clean it up and make it a more attractive place to visit. The greenhouse project will not impede the use of the Sitka Skatepark.

The slideshow below includes several concept drawings by James Patterson. These plans are subject to change, but they help give people an idea of where the project stands right now. Another option is to start off with a high tunnel greenhouse and build around it.

Sitka residents are encouraged to attend the meeting Thursday to show their support for the project. “If we don’t make it through this committee meeting it be ‘back to the drawing board,'” project coordinator Kerry MacLane said. “Your appearance for even a few minutes from 12:10 12:30 p.m. would mean a lot.”

The project was presented to the Sitka Historic Preservation Commission in mid April (the Sitka Turnaround Park is a historic site). If the greenhouse concept is approved by the Parks and Rec Committee on Thursday, it then will be presented to the Sitka Planning Commission on May 6. After that, the proposal will go to the Sitka Assembly to approve a lease to use the property.

Linked below are some concept points and a response to some questions by Parks and Rec’s partner, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. For more information, contact Kerry MacLane at 747-7888.

• Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center proposal bullet points

• Sitka Community Greenhouse and Education Center response to DNR questions

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• Sitka Conservation Society hosts wild foods potluck on Wednesday, Nov. 2

The Sitka Conservation Society will host its second annual wild foods potluck on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with food served at 6 p.m.

Come celebrate Alaska’s bounty with friends and family. Bring a dish featuring food fished, foraged, hunted or cultivated in Southeast. If you don’t have any wild foods to share, just garnish your dish with a local plant. After dinner is served there will be a short presentation by SCS Community Sustainability Coordinator Tracy Gagnon about the Fish To Schools program.

There also will be presentation by Sitka High School musicians and booths from the Sitka Local Foods Network, the Slow Food Southeast Alaska group, the Sitka Sound Science Center, Sitka Trail Works, Recycle Sitka, Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition, Sitka 4H Club, Sitka Maritime Heritage Society, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, Mt. Edgecumbe High School Youth for Environmental Action, Sitka Seafood Festival and more.

Prizes will be given for first place in the following categories: Best Entree, Best Side, Best Dessert, Most Creative, and Incorporation of the Most Local Ingredients. Entries should include a wild/local food. Pick up an entry form at the front table when you arrive at the potluck.

This event is open to the entire community; you do not need to be a Sitka Conservation Society member to attend. Non-alcoholic hot drinks will be provided.

For more information, contact Ashley Bolwerk at the Sitka Conservation Society office at 747-7509.

• Wild Foods Potluck flier (opens as PDF file)